Still trying to process thoughts, feelings, memories, etc. about my friend Jean and her son Jim. Not really knowing what to do, I pulled out my Bible this morning and started reading passages about death and what it means. I know that Jesus' resurrection secured victory over the grave for His followers, but I wanted more.
Two passages in particular spoke to me this morning.
"But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. . . . For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."
1 Corinthians 15:12-13; 16-22 (NIV)
While I know it is the case, I find the reminder helpful, particularly right now. A belief and a relationship with Christ is eternal. If it were only for this life, it would be an artificial and temporary thing. "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men." Instead, though, it is a relationship and a love that lasts beyond death in this life and into eternal life. "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."
"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. . . . Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:1; 6-8 (NIV)
Again, no deep analysis, I just draw comfort from these words and the image of our temporary tent here on earth compared to our eternal house with the Lord in heaven. I'm pleased to know that my friend is in that place. While there is still a lot of struggling to be done by a lot of people on earth in coming to grips with this, I am pleased to know that my friend is at home with the Lord.