March 9, 2009
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world." John 11:25-27
Lori Smith had a baby on New Year's Day.
Shortly after the delivery, Lori developed a headache; fifteen minutes later, she became nauseous and then unresponsive. That is how she stayed for the next month and a half.
Michael, Lori's husband, made the decision to pull her off life-support. Before he did so, he thought it best his other children, Megan and Katie Beth, be given the chance to say goodbye to their mother.
It was the right thing for the father to do. More right than he knew. You see, Megan wasn't ready to say farewell to her mother--not without a fight. "Mom", she said, "if you love us and you hear us, move your eyes." Mom did love them, and she did hear them, and she did move her eyes. Megan said she had never lost hope she would get her mother back.
The words of that little girl reminded me of Martha who welcomed Jesus to the graveside of her dead brother Lazarus. At that time Martha also professed her faith in Jesus' ability to restore her brother, to resurrect Lazarus from the dead.
Now I would never say these stories, the resurrection of Lazarus and the return of Lori Smith, are common. They're not. They are exceptional. People seldom come out of comas, and far fewer walk out of their graves. Still, the only difference between Megan and Martha and the restoration of our loved ones in the Lord is a matter of time.
Many of you have had to say goodbye to someone you love, someone whose passing has left an emptiness in your heart and life. If that accurately describes your sense of pain and loss, then allow me to say this: "because of Jesus there is a reunion, because of the Savior the day will come when His people will exit their tombs and be reunited with you and their Lord."
If you have buried a loved one, Jesus' question is for you: Do you believe He is the resurrection and the life and all who believe on Him will never die? By God's grace, may you confidently be able to join Martha in replying, "Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world." May you say, "I always knew I would get my loved one back."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, by Your life, death, and resurrection I am saved. Not only have You rescued my soul from damnation, You have also promised a reunion for all who have died in the faith. With faith may I look forward to that day. In Your Name. Amen
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries