Scriptures: John 14:1-6 & Revelation 21:1-8
In the past two years many of us have had a close encounter with death. It may have taken a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend or a neighbor. The Bible indicates that there is a certain “sting” to death. Many of us have felt it.
For the believer, thinking of death as a departure is only one side of the coin. Imagine the sheer joy of arriving at our heavenly home or Paradise as Jesus assured the thief on the cross. We who are living have only experienced this side of death. Imagine what kind of conversation may take place when we “arrive.” I shared this imaginary scenario in a recent funeral meditation for my friend and brother in the Lord, Ken. It is based on the kind of questions we often have when checking into a motel while traveling here on earth.
“Do you have any rooms available?” “Yes, you have arrived at the place of “many mansions” or “rooms” as some translations render it. The New Jerusalem has dimensions 1,500 miles wide, high, and long. There is plenty of room.”
“My walking is not very good. Would you have a room on the first floor?” “Ken, we left your old worn out legs down on earth. You won’t have any trouble walking up here.”
“Would you have a handicap room?” “We have no handicap rooms because no one is handicapped anymore.”
“Do you have any non-smoking rooms?” “There is nothing here that defiles. All the smoke is down in hell where ‘the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.’”
“Are your mattresses new?” “Nothing gets old or worn out up here. You have come to the place of “eternal rest.” You never slept as well as you will from now on.”
“Are the rooms secure?” “There are no locks on the doors because there are no thieves here.”
“Could I have a room with a good view?” “Look out any window and you’ll see there are no clouds in the sky and the streets are of pure gold and the leaves on the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
“Do I pay now or when I leave?” “Ken, Jesus paid it all with his shed blood on the cross. We left your wallet and check book down on earth. And you are not leaving, ever. You will never want to leave. This is the place of total fulfillment.”
“I have family who may be coming. Do you have rooms for them?” “Yes, for your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your friends, in fact the whole world is welcome.”
“How do they make reservations?” “The same way you did, by repenting of their sins, accepting Jesus as their Savior, being baptized into a good Bible-believing church, and loving God with their whole life.”
For the believer in Christ death from the other side is quite different from what we know of death from this side. Anticipate a great arrival!
Jim Myer – CBC Executive Board