We have faced an unusual number of deaths in our church family in the last two weeks. I am so thankful that Jesus has conquered death through His death. When a Christian dies, the funeral is so much different.
We read in John 3:14-15:
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:14-15 NIV)
D. L. Moody served as something of a volunteer chaplain for the Union Army in the days of the Civil War. One evening Moody was summoned to the death bed of a young soldier. The young man recounted a life of resisting God and now believed it was too late for him. He still asked Moody to help him die. Moody explained that he could not help him die, but he could tell him what Jesus had done for him on the cross. Moody simply began to read from John 3. He came to John 3:14-15. The young man stopped him and said, “Read it again.” A third time, the young soldier said, “Read it again.” Moody recounted how he saw a broad smile sweep across this man’s face. As Moody continued to sit with the dying soldier, he saw his lips moving. Moody bent down low to hear him repeating over and over, “Everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.” The next morning when Moody went to check on the young man, he had died. Moody asked the nurse about his new friend’s countenance as he died. “Why,” the nurse said, “he just kept repeating the words, ‘Everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.’”
Volumes and volumes of books have been written across the ages about salvation, but when life gets to its most crucial hour, all of us need the simplicity of the Gospel. The simplicity of the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins brings a calm assurance even in the face of death.