The late Richard Halverson, one-time chaplain of the US Senate, wrote, “The statistic is irrevocably true. . . the ratio never changes: One death for every person born. We prepare for everything else – education, career, home, vacations, retirement. Why not the one absolutely certain event?”
When we accept the outreached hand of Jesus, with His invitation to follow Him, and we grasp that hand, He never lets go, not even at death. We have to let go of our loved ones at death, but Jesus doesn’t! He said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3)
It will be an existence that’s amazing and astonishingly different from what we’re experiencing in this fallen world. Joni Eareckson Tada became a quadriplegic in a diving accident as a teenager. She’s been paralyzed from her neck down since then, and she’s now in her sixties. She attended a church service where everyone was invited to go to their knees in worship — which, being confined to a wheelchair, she couldn’t do. She wrote, “Sitting there, I was reminded that in heaven I will be free to jump up, dance, kick, and do aerobics. . . .” But she wrote that “the first thing I plan to do on resurrected legs is to drop on grateful, glorified knees. I will quietly kneel at the feet of Jesus.” (quoted in King’s Cross, Timothy Keller, p.223)
A hundred million years from now we can be very much alive in the presence of Jesus Christ. We can live in His new heaven and new earth, if we reach out to Him in faith and commitment in our short lifespan here on this old earth. Jesus died, but then He arose again. When we reach out and take His hand in a relationship with Him He never lets go, not even at death! Because He lives, we can live!
“Because I live, you also will live.” (Jesus in John 14:19)