The wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
~ Romans 6:23
I always appreciate funerals. I have been at the funerals of poor people and well-to-do people, of old people and young people, of people I knew well and people I never met. And they all helped me. How?
Every funeral helps me, because funerals simplify things. When I stand at a funeral, I am reminded that I am a mortal human being, and the reason I am mortal is because I am a sinful human being. “The wages of sin is death.”
In my day-to-day life, I can think of all sorts of problems that I think are oh-so-important and pressing. The car needs to be repaired, or is on its last legs. The bank account isn’t where I would like it to be. My career doesn’t seem to be moving the way I want. My kids are sick. My parents are struggling. My team isn’t doing as well as I would like. I have so much work to do, and on and on…
And then I stand at a funeral and I am reminded that none of those things are my biggest problem. My biggest problem is that I am a sinner who will die, and even worse, I am a sinner who deserves to go to hell. That’s my biggest problem! And if that one problem doesn’t get solved, nothing else really matters. That’s really simple. Funerals remind me of that.
But then I am reminded of another truth, that Jesus stepped into my place, taking the punishment which I deserved. The wage which I deserved—death—he took. And what’s left for me?
What’s left for me isn’t a wage, but a gift! And oh, what a gift! God gifts to me life eternal! God gifts to me eternity in heaven with him! By forgiving my sins, God gifts to me eternal joy, eternal peace, eternal glory!
And again, life gets simplified! I have eternal life, because God has given it to me! Does that mean all my other problems go away? Not at all! But it does put them into perspective. I am going to heaven! And so I can handle the sickness, the stress, the change, the heartache, the money issues, and on and on. Since God has given me eternal life, certainly he will guide me through these other issues, because they are just things of this earth. Simple.
And funerals help me to remember that.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep simplifying everything for me by focusing me on what really matters…You! Amen.