MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BP) — As I walked into the hospital, I seemed on a visitation card on the identify of the person who had requested that I go to him. He was dying of most cancers and needed me to come back and pray with him. I used to be honored to take action.
When I walked into his hospital room, I used to be stunned by his look. His physique was skinny. His pores and skin was darkened. His tooth had been shattered. All of this was the results of countless rounds of chemo. Yet in spite of all of the docs may do, Jim was dying.
He was on the point of eternity. He knew he was going to heaven however he was nonetheless afraid. He mentioned, “Pastor, I know I am saved. I know that when I die, I’ll go to heaven. But I’m afraid. I’ve never died before. I’m afraid of what death will be like. Can you help me?”
We talked about what occurs when a Christian dies. We talked about how his spirit and soul would quickly depart his physique and go on to God’s presence in heaven. Then the Lord gave me a thought to share with Jim that I might by no means shared earlier than.
I mentioned, “Jim, when I was young, I was afraid of the dark, especially any dark area in our house. I remember coming home at night with my family. My father knew about my fear of darkness. So, every time we came home, my dad would unlock and open the door, go inside and turn the light on. Then he’d turn around and say, ‘Come on in, Steve, everything’s fine.’ I remember walking into our house in total peace because I knew that I could trust my father to take care of me. I didn’t have to be afraid.”
Then I mentioned, “Jim, when Jesus came to this earth, He lived a sinless life so He could die for our sins. He gave His life as an atoning sacrifice for God’s children and then He was buried. But three days later, Jesus walked out of that grave with the keys to death, hell and the grave itself in His hand. Jim, Jesus unlocked the door of eternity, went into the grave and turned the lights on for you. Now He’s saying, ‘Jim, come on in, everything is fine.'”
By this time, Jim and I had been each crying. In truth, I am combating again tears as I write this text. Jim mentioned, “Pastor, I get it! I can see Jesus opening the door for me! He’s turning the light on for me! He’s saying, ‘Come on in, Jim, everything is fine.’ Jesus is the Light of the world! He’s turned the light on in my grave! I can die without fear! Thank you, pastor, for helping me.”
We prayed and I left. A couple of days later, Jim stepped out of this life into everlasting life. And Jesus was there ready for him with the lights on.
That’s all attainable as a result of Jesus died and rose bodily, victoriously and eternally from the grave.
The apostle Paul mentioned that at some point each Christian will die. Each of us will shed this earthly physique and our spirit and soul will enter eternity. This perishable shall placed on the imperishable. This mortal shall placed on immortality. At that second we cannot fear the grave any longer as a result of Jesus has conquered it! Death is swallowed up in His victory!
As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:53-57: “For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?’ 56 The sting of demise is sin, and the ability of sin is the legislation; 57 however thanks be to God, who provides us the victory by means of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NASB).
Jesus eliminated the sting of demise when He walked into the grave and defeated its energy. He turned the sunshine on and says to us, “All is nicely! Come on in!”
That’s why I like Easter. It shouts loudly that due to a bloody cross and an empty tomb we will have what the trendy hymn says: “No guilt in life, no fear in demise!”
May God bless each Southern Baptist and each Southern Baptist church this Easter. Let’s inform the world that Jesus is alive, and all fear is gone!