Jesus Rages at Death

Apr 28th 2011

A Question.  Last weekend — Easter Weekend — we decided to meet Sarah for Easter Dinner.  We picked a town about halfway between Pittsburgh and State College, Ebensburg.  If you ever find yourself in Ebensburg on Easter Sunday looking for a place to eat, let me give you a heads up.  Other than the McDonald’s and the Sheetz, only one place will be open, “Off the Rak.”  We got to Ebensburg about 15 minutes before Sarah did, so we tried to call her to let her know that everything was closed and to meet us in the McDonald’s parking lot.  No answer.  We called multiple times, maybe a hundred times in the next 15 minutes no answer.  Here’s my question, “Why did I immediately consider the possibility that Sarah had been in a terrible car accident and start asking God to spare her life?”  By the way, her phone had died but she didn’t.

I sat with a couple a few weeks ago, because the wife wanted to plan her memorial service with me.  A week after that I was doing a funeral for a man I had never met.

A few weeks ago, I received an email asking me to pray for a little girl in Altoona, bad infection in the hospital, coma.  I prayed.  About a week later I asked for an update, the little girl died the day before I sent the email.

Watched a movie from Redbox last night Hereafter.  It’s always interesting to gain some insight into how the world — without Christ — views death and life after death.

David Wilkerson, the author of The Cross and the Switchblade died yesterday — car accident.  I read that account before I went to bed and woke up to the accounts of 200+ dead from tornadoes in the south.

One of my best friends has cancer.  He’s a pastor and told his congregation last week that he has wrestled with this beast so long that he is starting to long for heaven — sad to leave family, but longing for heaven.

There is a scene in Jesus life, just before he dies on a cross.  He is at the tomb of his friend Lazarus.  Lazarus has been dead for four days.  Surrounded by grieving sisters and mourning friends, pain and suffering washing over Jesus.  The text says that an intense fury from the depths of his soul stirred up within him, and he shuddered.  He is outraged at the abnormality of death.  He is filled with fury at the brokenness of the world.  He feels compassion for his friends and their grief but he is outraged at the hand behind death.   First he lifts his eyes to his father, then he stares into the face of sin, death and Satan, and with the command of life, he calls Lazarus forth.

Lazarus comes out of his tomb.

We do not fear death, because Jesus walked out of the tomb.  We do not grieve as those who have no hope, for death is defeated.  We live for Christ, but we know that to die is to gain.

Yet for all that we cannot, must not forget that Jesus rages at death.  We take part with him in a battle against the hand behind death.  And one day, there will be no more death.