by John Hutchinson

Hope from the grave

tombstone

Recently my wife and I visited a cemetery with our twelve year old grandson.

We looked at tombstones of those we’d known and others we’d heard about. But there were many of long years past.

We were saddened at a site where several children were interred. One was two, another, three and another, ten. Two died within weeks of each other indicating contagious illness.

There were graves of young people killed in car accidents — and other victims of tragedy.

We paused at the tombstone of a lady who died at 103. Interestingly, she was buried in the same site as her child who only lived for ten days.

It makes you think about the fragility of life. We must never assume another day. Any day may be our last.

Hope

There was one particular tombstone which spoke of hope. We’d passed grave after grave with the dates of deaths - then came to one telling us of when a mother of little children had ‘entered into life.’

It was in strange contrast to the many dates of ‘death’ — the date when one ‘entered into life.’

Is it fanciful thinking? Or, is there some basis for concluding someone has ‘entered into life?’

Jesus Christ said He was ‘The life” (John 14:6). He also said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance” (John 10:10). He spoke a lot about eternal life.

The teaching of Jesus about eternal life gained credibility from His own death and resurrection. In the book of Revelation He is reported as saying, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

Entering life

In the terminology of the Bible it’s not altogether accurate to say that one enters into life at death — even though Jesus said, “…whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:26).

We enter physical life at birth. Spiritual life is entered when we repent of sinning and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Jesus described it as ‘New Birth.’

Jesus said, “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).

The Bible teaches three components to man — body, mind and spirit (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23). When Jesus prayed from the cross, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,’” He was referring to the spiritual entity of His being. When He was raised from the dead - spirit and body were again intact.

When Stephen was being stoned to death He prayed, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.’”

“How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!” (Hebrews 12:9-10.)

Eternal life begins with our acceptance of Christ. Physical death doesn’t annihilate the spirit. It persists until the resurrection.

The apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.’”

Have you ‘entered into life’

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