Thursday, January 15, 2009

Resurrection and union with Christ

Last Friday I had the privilege of conducting the funeral service of Lynda Carr. Lynda was a believer, a long term member of Christ Church Deeside, mother of eleven and a wonderful, wonderful character. We will all miss her terribly. She was resting and relying on Christ and looked forward to being with him wich is far better. At the funeral service I spoke from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 about an intelligent faith, a certain hope, and a real comfort.

My practice at the burial of a believer is to read and explain question thirty-seven from the Shorter Catechism:
What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?

A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united in Christ,
do rest in their graves, till the resurrection.
Christ is Saviour of body and soul (see HC Q. 1, 57, 58). He assumed our humanity, real and sinless, that he might redeem all that was fallen.

There seems such a terrible finality to the grave. As the coffin is lowered down it all appears to be so final. What a difference it makes to stand there with the Word of God proclaiming a different perspective, a greater reality than death. Christ is risen, death is conquered.

Those who fall asleep in him were not appointed for wrath but for salvation through the Lord Christ. Their union with him extends to the resurrection of the body. How could the grave be the end if Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, reigning over heaven and earth, having all power and authority? How could this be the end since he loves us so much that he will make our lowly bodies like his glorious body?

As the Puritan Samuel Bolton put it "our dust and bones are still united to the Son of God."

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