Today, I gave a short funeral sermon on the unique and exclusively Christian hope. Here is a polished summary of what I think I remember saying.
Funerals are important times to aid the processes of grieving and teaching.
I tried to be brief (7-10 mins not my normal 45-55min) and clear to benefit the audience and occasion.
I started by suggesting that on this occasion, they may be wondering, “What will happen to me after I die?”
I stated that my intention was to explaining the Christian hope as the resurrection of believers to eternal life with God, modelled by Jesus himself and offered to them.
I read and explained John 11:25-27:
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
2. Jesus explains the condition that believers in him will have life, in spite of physical death. The Christian hope is unstoppable life winning over unavoidable death. Eternal life is a term referring to both quality and a quantity. Do you want eternal life with God after you die?
3. Jesus asks if she (Martha grieving Lazarus) believes his condition and claim. THe Christian Hope requires a personal profession of faith in Jesus. Today I asked the congregation at the memorial service if they believe that Jesus is their Resurrection and the Life. Do you believe this?
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:22-23
…knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. – 2 Corinthians 4:14