Death is a terrible thing. Someone you all loved for many years, has been taken to a new home. The wonderful thing is that Lonna knew that everything I have just read is true and had put her hope in Jesus. This hope was not based on empty yearning, or some kind of hope based on fear. No, her hope was based on two incontrovertible facts: the witness of history and personal relationship.
History reports that over 500 people saw Jesus alive three days after his death by crucifixion. The people who crucified him, knew he had risen from the dead, they had had the tomb sealed and placed a guard on it so that his disciples couldn’t steal his body and claim he was risen (Mt. 27:63). After his resurrection, so many people saw him alive that no one could deny the fact. The easiest thing in the world would have been to produce a dead body, but none was.
Besides the testimony of so many eyewitnesses, people’s lives were changed by the risen Lord. His followers began loving one another. They began loving their enemies. They began telling others about Jesus and what he had done for them. They were loved by many, and hated by others. Everywhere the Apostles went a revival broke out—or a riot. It was very difficult to remain neutral about the truth of Christianity—that Jesus died as a punishment for our sins. Not only that, but this resurrected Jesus, this Lord of Glory, changed the world from a back water hole in the wall, to what we see around us today. And these texts I’ve read this morning testify that because Jesus rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, Lonna Talbot will also rise again one day. Death has been undone by Jesus’ resurrection.
Lonna also knew that these things are true because she experienced them in her own life. She attended church at the New Life Christian Center until her illness made her to weak. The presence of the risen Jesus, and the power of his Holy Spirit changed lives today, just as he changed them 2,000 years ago. And Lonna knew it and felt it.
For these reasons I believe I will finally get to meet her in person one day, and all of you who believe and submit yourself to Jesus’ Lordship will also see her again one day in glory.
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!