At both funerals people said goodbye in their own way.
At both funerals family members cried.
At both funerals there was singing.
At both funerals the life of the deceased was celebrated.
At both funerals loved ones grieved.
The huge difference was how they grieved.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Paul says that we are sad, we grieve, but we grieve differently when we have hope. What hope? The hope of life after death. The hope that only belief in Jesus can bring. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never ever die” (John 11:25-26).
At Thursday’s funeral the family grieved deeply because they had no hope of life after death, no assurance, only wishful thinking.
At today’s funeral it was a joy to grieve with a family because they had such solid hope! They have an absolute, unshakable assurance that their loved one has life after death. And that makes all the difference in the world in how they will grieve.