Can you imagine discovering the empty tomb of Jesus? We would like to think that we would know that Jesus had overcome death on the third day but realistically our reaction would more likely be similar to Mary Magdalene’s.
“On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciples whom Jesus loved, and told them, ‘They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him'” John 20:1-2 NAB.
Her first thought was that someone had broken in and taken His precious body and she was overcome with grief. She returned and wept outside of the tomb until Jesus appeared to her and said, “Stop holding on to me , for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Jn 20:17. He reminds her that He has not yet ascended to Heaven and that the death of his human body is not to be mourned. For once our body takes its last breath our life does not end but instead it finally begins.
Humans cling to life on earth because it is all we have known and we are comfortable with what we know. It is important to remember that some of God’s greatest gifts are presented to us when we are in moments that force us out of our comfort zone. We should be grateful for these moments because they allow us to grow continuously throughout life. The greatest moment of honor and test of spiritual trust is at death. It is inevitable for us all. Death should not be feared but instead it should be viewed as a gift from God.
Christians have a responsibility to teach their children and loved ones that death should be a celebration. As precious as our life on earth is, it is not all that we are given. If we live this life according to His truth then we will be welcomed into Heaven in accordance with God’s plan. It is a day He looks forward to. The day when the children He created return to Him. We all feel unworthy a times and it is easy to fear the end our lives because we will be judged accordingly. Let go of your fear and shame for they are not from Him. Live your life according to hope, love, faith and trust. God is merciful.
Live every day on this wonderful planet with purpose and bask in the immensity of all He is. There are some things that we will never understand but those mysteries of faith lead us to trust in He who is all knowing. Death opens the door of those mysteries and leads us to be with the Holy Spirit. Start today by looking forward to the beginning of our eternal life and how it overcomes the ending of our human life.