Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Psalm 116:15
“Your father is actively dying,” said the hospice nurse. “Actively dying” refers to the final phase of the dying process and was a new term to me, one that felt strangely like traveling down a lonely one-way street. On my dad’s last day, not knowing if he could still hear us, my sister and I sat by his bed. We kissed the top of his beautiful bald head. We whispered God’s promises to him. We sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” and quoted the 23rd Psalm. We told him we loved him and thanked him for being our dad. We knew his heart longed to be with Jesus, and we told him he could go. Speaking those words was the first painful step in letting go. A few minutes later, our dad was joyously welcomed into his eternal home.
The final release of a loved one is painful. Even Jesus’ tears flowed when His good friend Lazarus died (John 11:35). But because of God’s promises, we have hope beyond physical death. Psalm 116:15 says that God’s “faithful servants”—those who belong to Him—are “precious” to Him. Though they die, they’ll be alive again.
Jesus promises, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25–26). What comfort it brings to know we’ll be in God’s presence forever.
What did Jesus accomplish by His death on the cross? How does His sacrifice affect every person who has ever lived?
Precious Father, thank You for the promise of eternal life in Your presence.
For help in dealing with loss, read Life After Loss at discoveryseries.org/cb131.
When Martha said her brother Lazarus “will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:24), she was echoing the Jewish hope of the afterlife. The resurrection of the dead was an ancient Jewish belief (Job 19:26–27). They believed there would be a future day when the “multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2; see also Isaiah 26:19; John 5:28–29). However, when Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:23), He wasn’t merely referring to the future resurrection hope but promising a more immediate resurrection of Lazarus (vv. 40–44).