The one you love was sick, very sick. Perhaps your child, your spouse, your mother or father. He was sick and you wanted to help him. You brought him to the doctor, to the hospital. But the illness was too strong. What you had feared has now happened. Your loved one has died. You have seen this happen to others, but today it has happened to you. You are the one who has lost your loved one. Many different feelings may have flooded into your heart.
- You feel angry. Perhaps there was someone who did not help as they should have done. “If only…” you feel.
- You feel bewildered. Why should this happen to you? Your friends and neighbours don’t have this. “Why me?” you ask.
- You feel guilty. Perhaps you remember wrongs you did to the one who has died, or ways in which you failed to love them. But now it’s too late to say sorry. “It’s my fault,” you think.
- You feel afraid. How will you cope with life now? And when it’s your time to die… “What then?” you wonder.
- You feel sad. Whether or not you feel angry, bewildered, guilty or afraid, it’s sure that you feel sad. Death makes everyone sad.
We feel sad too. We would like to tell you a story and we hope that it will help you today.
The story is a true story. It’s about Jesus, the Son of God. We can read it in the Bible in John chapter 11.
Jesus had some close friends that He loved. There were two sisters and a brother: Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
One day Lazarus became sick. Very sick.
At that time Jesus was far away in another place. Mary and Martha sent a message to tell Him that Lazarus was sick. When Jesus heard it, he knew that Lazarus would die. Jesus is God. He knows everything.
When Jesus reached the village of his friends, Lazarus had already been dead for 4 days. His body had been buried in a tomb. Before Jesus arrived at the village, Martha and Mary went to meet Him. As soon as Mary started to talk to Jesus she began to cry. All the other friends around her cried too. Everyone was sad. Death makes everyone sad.
When Jesus saw this He was deeply moved in His spirit. The Bible tells us that “Jesus wept”. Though He is the Son of God, He was so sad at the death of Lazarus, that He cried.
Jesus went to Lazarus’ tomb. He ordered the people to take away the stone that was closing the tomb. The people hesitated. They thought there would be a bad smell. But Jesus told them to trust Him. So they opened the tomb. Then Jesus called out in a loud voice “Lazarus, come out”. At the command of Jesus, Lazarus came back from the dead. He walked out of the tomb. He was alive and well.
This is a true story. There are 3 things we want you to know from this story.
1. Jesus understands what you are feeling today. You are very sad. You want to cry. Jesus understands that. Jesus Himself cried because of the death of Lazarus. Jesus was sad because He realised how sad death makes everyone. Death takes our loved ones away. Death causes separation. We can no longer talk to our loved ones. They are gone. That makes us sad.
2. Jesus is more powerful than death.
Death is very powerful.
It is more powerful than doctors. Doctors cannot bring dead people back to life.
Death is more powerful than the spirits. The spirits cannot bring people back from the dead.
But death is not more powerful than Jesus. Jesus is more powerful than death. When Jesus called to Lazarus in the tomb, he came back to life again. Only Jesus can do that.
3. Jesus is the One in whom we should trust.
All of our friends are going to die.
All our family is going to die.
We are all going to die.
Death makes us sad, and death also makes us afraid. When we remember that we also will die, this makes us afraid.
But Jesus is more powerful than death. Jesus is not afraid of death. Jesus can carry us through death.
Jesus said to Martha “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”
Jesus does not promise to stop us from dying. But he does promise that if we trust in Him, He will give us life.
That means eternal life. There is a life that goes beyond the death of our bodies. It is a life of perfect joy and peace in the presence of God forever. It is the life that Jesus gives to all who trust in Him.
One day Jesus died. Wicked men nailed Him to a cross of wood and He died. It was a place of punishment for evildoers. But Jesus never did any evil. He only did good. When He died, God used His death. God had a plan for Jesus’ death. The plan was for Jesus to die in our place. He suffered the punishment that we all deserve for the wrong we have done.
After Jesus died he was buried. Three days later He rose again. He is now alive forever. He is alive and giving life to all who will trust Him.
This is a sad day for you. The one you love has died.
Jesus understands your sadness. He can help you, provide for you, guide you and strengthen you at this sad time. He can bring you peace if you will trust Him.
Jesus is more powerful than death and He can prepare you for the day when you also will die. He will give you eternal life today if you will trust and follow Him. Then you will never need to fear death. You may still be sad. But you will also have a new hope and peace that comes from Jesus.
“Whoever lives and believes in Me” Jesus told Martha, “will never die”. That does not mean that our bodies will not die. It means that if we trust in Him, we will be saved from eternal death. We will be saved from the place of eternal punishment. We will receive the gift of eternal life.
Do you believe this? We urge you to think carefully. Read this tract again. This sad day could be the start of new life for you if it brings you to Jesus.