We Can Cry With Hope

Kevin DeYoung on grieving for the dead:

We grieve, as much or more than anyone. But not as those who have no hope. The Christian cries differently. Our tears are not tears of hopelessness. Death is not the end… We have something more than inspiring words or some vague notion about a place in the clouds or singing with the angels or looking up to grandpa as he watches down over us. We have a firm hope that is grounded in the work of Christ.

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 1 Thess 4.14

There’s the difference. We do not grieve as those who have no hope, because Jesus died and yet he lives. There is no more important event in the history of the world than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And if you believe that Jesus (Son of God and Son of Man) died for sins and rose again on the third day–if you truly believe that to the depths of your being, it will change everything…

When we are hurting, when we lose a husband or daughter or grandmother, when we face our own mortality–whether in a month or a year or a decade or seven decades–when we gather around the hospital bed to pray with the sick and dying, when we comfort the afflicted, do we talk about the resurrection? Do we talk about Jesus? Do we talk about the empty tomb? Or do we offer empty platitudes and nothing more than the well-meaning sympathy that says, “I’ve suffered too,” or worse, that God suffers with them? Do you tell them in a casual sort of way that everything’s going to be alright? Do you rebuke them for their doubts? Or do we encourage one another with our faith in the resurrection?