I didn’t know it then. That we only had three days left.
I had watched her grow weaker that week. Helplessly looking on. Faced with the relentless march of that terrible disease. There is nothing you can do when the cancer seems to have won. When your loved one has no strength left to fight the battle and all hope seems gone.
Side by side we sat on the sofa. This mother-in-law of mine who had welcomed me into her family, loved me so well, taught me so much. A strong, hard-working, capable woman. Her love and determination had propelled her out of bed to attend to a few matters. Certain tasks must be taken care of. Mundane little items, but important to the smooth running of her home and the family business. Her world.
But her strength had abandoned her. And so, we sat. Silent. Knowing.
Lyrics of a familiar song drifted across the room.
“And then one day
I’ll cross that river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory
And I’ll know He reigns.”
The lyrics crashed over me in all their awful reality.
“And then one day I’ll cross the river.”
It loomed ever closer.
I sat silent.
But the song was not over yet.
Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives,
All fear is gone.
Who is it talking about?
Jesus Christ. God coming to earth as a man to be the one sacrifice for the sin of the world. He died, but three days later He came back to life, appearing to many of His disciples – those fearful men and women, hiding away in an upper room with the doors locked. Some days later, He ascended into heaven, as His disciples watched. The first real man going into heaven.
Jesus’ disciples were changed. They became bold men and women, fearlessly telling the world about the risen Lord Jesus. What had they to fear now? Their hope was in One who had power over death itself. He was their Lord and Saviour.
I felt a little bit of heaven touch my soul.
Jesus is alive! Death is defeated.
We can face our tomorrow. Even if . . .
Death may be unwelcome. It is still an enemy. Separation from our loved ones is painful. We mourn, we grieve. However, death need not be feared. Our Lord has walked this way before us. He has gone through death and come out victorious. Making a way for us to follow. Death for us is merely a passageway over to our living Saviour and to life in all its fullness. If we are trusting in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we have this assurance.
Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19 ESV).
Death does not win.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NIV).