O death where is your victory? O death where is your sting? (1Corinthians 15:55)
Going to funerals of loved ones can be such woeful occasions or they can be merely sad occasions that are outshined with real joy. The difference of course depends on where the departed one was with Lord when they died.
My wife and I were at a funeral of a dear friend last week and this was a funeral of real joy and celebration as her parting was viewed and spoken of as a change - an eternal change! This lady finally changed stations. She was transported from this life into the next. Leaving this life for her was all about being promoted into the next, of being forever with the Lord. Death of the body was not an end - for her it was the beginning of eternal bliss, because, in her temporary lifetime she trusted Jesus Christ to be her Saviour and Lord. She saw her sin and understood that it is God alone, through Jesus Christ alone, who can forgive sin. So she trusted God and His Son for that forgiveness. When that takes place, God grants every believer eternal life. Our friend from that moment in her life, never saw death as the end.
I like how Erwin Lutzer, in his book ‘One Minute After You Die’ describes death for the believer: “Death is not the end of the road; it is only a bend in the road. The road winds only through those paths through which Christ Himself has gone. This Travel Agent does not expect us to discover the trail for ourselves. Often we say that Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true, of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here.” [Grace Quotes]