Last month, after coming home from a memorial service, I came home with a feeling in between melancholy and hope. It reminded me a lot of things about death . . . and life.
Truly, death is the greatest equalizer. It is what keeps every man – young or old alike, rich or poor – to grasp the brevity of this life.
In this lifetime, we try to make things last through creating memories, which tie us all into something quite fleeting yet powerful enough to change and to make us look back and be grateful, no matter how short-lived or how enduring it may be.
Memories, no matter how poignant or how simple they are, create a lasting impact.
As I write this, the recollection of that memorial service gives me such glimpse of God’s grace thru the bereaved family’s stories. Somehow, I realized, to be able to smile and to still thanks the LORD in spite of grief is a showcase of His love, grace and mercy. It is the outpouring of His love that enables someone to truly recognize that in times of sorrow, one can still be grateful of the LORD.
Honestly, what moved me into tears was when my friend retold the story of how she clung on to her late husband’s hand (even after the doctors pronounced him dead). To cling on to the warmth of a love one’s hand even after he or she is gone is…intangible. I guess, there are moments which submerge one’s soul into speechlessness. Or perhaps, it is another proof of how God also reached out to us in terms of our vulnerability and mortality.
In a sense, I realized, God holds on to us even after we are, spiritually, dead. From the beginning, God knows that to be freed from spiritual death itself, a sacrifice has to be made. In His abhorrence of sin, God the Father demands that it must be justified through death, through a perfect sacrifice. Yet, in the illogical manner that set such sacrifice withstanding, God the Father send His begotten Son, Jesus, to die for the sins He did not commit and to pay the penalty that should have been ours.
It was Jesus Christ who atoned for mankind’s sins and was imputed the punishment and the curse that should have been ours. In this great exchange, Christ’s righteousness became ours. Jesus Christ bore our shame through his death on the Cross.
Is it finished?
Mankind’s salvation is a freely given gift — one that died for our freedom and broke the chains of our inquities and our unworthiness. It begins when we only trust Jesus Christ ALONE for our salvation. Nothing else. What a gift it is, indeed!
I guess, real life begins when we understand its brevity and the greatest act of God’s love. How ironic, though, when one Man’s death actually commences new life — a life that is hope-filled and secured. It is a life which can still thank the LORD despite the pains because no matter how quick our life span be, our greatest hope is anchored to the One who gave us everything — Jesus Christ.