As we near the end of the Christian year, approaching Advent, today's devotion for today is based on John 5:28, where we hear Jesus say, "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out."
I remember standing at my father's casket at the graveyard. There was an ache in my heart, and tears were flowing. There would be no more hugs, advice, or anything else for that manner from the man that I dearly loved.
One message and one message alone that day gave me comfort: death had been defeated! By Jesus' death and resurrection, he had forgiveness of sins for you, for me, for all. Jesus won forgiveness of sins for my father, whose physical body was lying in that casket.
I was sadder than I would ever have imagined. My father was gone, but I knew that my dad was a winner in my sadness. For he died believing in Jesus as his Savior. His soul was with the Lord awaiting Judgment Day when it will be reunited with his risen body to live for all eternity
And someday, my father, with all those who believed in Jesus, will hear the voice of Jesus say, "Come out!" And he will come out of the grave! He will rise from the dead with a glorious, glorified body to enjoy the fullness of the victory which Jesus won for him, and he'll enjoy it for all eternity. And with Jesus as our living Savior, we will too! That is Good News.
Please pray with me, Lord Jesus, remind me that someday you will stand by my grave and call me out of it, raising me back to life to live with you forever. Use that message to dry my tears, fill me with peace, and focus me on the life that is to come. In your blessed name, I pray. Amen.