Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." 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?" John 11:23-26
The man had sold his little restaurant on Main Street and took a position with a national insurance company.
The greatest advantage to the new job was he could do his work from home. He liked that because it allowed him to take care of his frail, fragile wife. For him this intensive caring for her was not a duty, it was a chance God had given him to show His love to the Savior and his bride. That's what he called her: "his bride."
Of course, nobody was surprised to hear that death had paid a visit to the couple's house.
The shock came when they found out it was he, not she, who had been called home to Jesus. Everyone thought the sadness of her husband's funeral would soon snuff out the burning ember of her life.
What the people forgot was this: the couple had always believed that Jesus, God's Son, had come into this world to carry their sins, die the death they deserved and had risen so that all who believe on Him will live forever.
In the face of her husband's death, the wife's faith did not fail her.
Two days after the funeral, by herself, the wife took some steps -- some small, very slow steps. It took what seemed like hours for her to walk from the bedroom to her husband's empty office. Surrounded by the memories of him, the clutter of him, the scent of him, she blinked back the tears and with trembling hands found what she had been looking for.
Even more slowly she made her way from her husband's office to the closed front door. There, in the window that flanked the door she put up the sign her husband had used when he went out on his sales calls.
The sign read, "GONE OUT ~ BACK SOON."
It was the wife's witness that when the casket closes, it is not the end. She knew that when you leave a beloved Christian's casket at the cemetery, you are leaving memories but, because of Jesus, you can look forward to a reunion.
Because of Jesus, life is not finished.
The widow knew that. She knew it because her Savior had told her: "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, death comes to us all. Today I pray that any time death shows up in a home or household, Jesus may also be there bringing comfort and hope. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries