Today is the funeral for a sister in our church. She is already departed, but today her body will return to the dust. Family will say good-bye. Tears will be shed. Closing the chapter of her life on earth will begin. I am reminded, in Christ, this is only the beginning for Sister Mary.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thes. 4:15-17.
In fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. 1 Cor. 15:20-23
In light of death and the resurrection of the dead, let’s keep all the earth tied stuff in perspective. It really means nothing. For one day we will rise.