During this time of year, as we think about what Christ went through for us, we try to imagine how He must have felt, and how He suffered for us to have the chance to receive Him and thereby gain entrance into heaven; or spurn Him through disbelief, and end up in hell. We watch films of the passion of Christ, fast, pray and even abstain from something during the forty days before Easter so we can suffer a bit in an effort to feel closer to our Lord. Some people even go to Church on Easter, whereas they may not go the rest of the year (until Christmas comes around). And some of us prepare special meals, dye eggs and hide them for children and make special cut out cookies. We even clean the house and mow the grass! We ‘get ready’ for Easter.
Well, are you ready for death? How often do you think about your death? It’s not really gruesome to prepare for it, you know. It’s actually a good idea. Do you have a will drawn up? Have you decided how you want to be buried and who is going to be the executor of your will; and who is going to be driving your car and living in your home (and spending your money)?
I don’t want to die (but I should want to). Because through death, it is my hope and belief that my spirit will be in a better place, even more beautiful than this world that God created. Jesus said “if you love your life you will lose it…
Mark 8:34-36 “For whoever wants to save his [higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the lower, natural, temporal life which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel's will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God].”
Now, check with your pastor, because this doesn’t mean commit suicide or not to take efforts to save our life if we need a surgery or medical attention! I believe it means if our earthly lives are more important to us than our eternal life in heaven, we stand the chance of losing our eternal life in heaven. Do we focus on TV, games, sex, alcohol, friends and family, or do we focus on our Lord, by reading our bibles, and seeking Him in prayer to learn about Him?
James said “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4
So, as we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, perhaps we should reflect on our death and resurrection. There was a time in my life when my problems were so many that I was ready for death, because my life was not fun. It was only full of hardships and sadness. But then something wonderful happened to me! I met Jesus. It wasn’t an intense, dramatic meeting. It was slow, profound, and truly special. It was a second by second, minute by minute, day by day and trial by trial kind of thing. And He only came to be known to me through reading His Word and truly (in my heart) desiring to know Him, wanting to be like Him, loving Him, seeking Him and reading His Word. Throughout all that, and during these last five years, can I finally say that I now know Him. I know Him by reading what He taught us in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Revelations. I trust Him, have placed my confidence in Him, and believe in Him all the way, no matter what any other author may write.
Since I began seeking Him with all my heart, truly dedicating my spare time to Him, He has begun blessing me, my family, and everything I do. I don’t have that many problems and when I do, they are truly mini miracles. Even in problems and trials, I see the Lord’s hand in them, delivering me out of them. Now that I’m enjoying life and the many blessings the Lord has in store for me, I don’t want to die. But even with all this good, there’s something better waiting for me.
He said “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
When the Lord decides to call you and I home, we will be in a better place because of our faith in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, but the people left behind on this earth will miss us and grieve. So it’s a good thing to prepare for them, so they won’t be left with a lot of stress and problems trying to resolve our debts or unfinished business.
We lost two more loved ones in our family; my brother’s father-in-law, and my husband’s sister-in-law’s mother. I hurt for the people who were closest to them, because it hurts us when others are grieving. I hope you’re ready. I believe I am. I believe my hand is in God’s mighty right hand. Is yours?
“1May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you up on high [and defend you];
2Send you help from the sanctuary and support, refresh, and strengthen you from Zion;
3Remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah [pause, and think of that]!
4May He grant you according to your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans.
5We will [shout in] triumph at your salvation and victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
6Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
7Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God.
8They are bowed down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright.
9O Lord, give victory; let the King answer us when we call." Psalm 20