I've just taken the funeral of the father of a lady in our church. I didn't know him personally; it's one of the things we do as shepherds of the flock. Today is a beautiful, warm spring day and the cemetery was bathed in sunshine and oddly peaceful. The eulogies were well delivered and everything was done with dignity. Yet it was all wrong.
Every time I go to a funeral or bury a member of the church, I am reminded that we were never meant to die. God made humanity to live forever, without sin, sickness and death. They are unnatural and contrary to all that God created us for. Adam was such a fool wasn't he? Deciding to ignore his Father's command and leading his wife Eve into sin was the most stupid act any man ever carried out. Every one of us born into the world ever since that act of supreme insanity has lived - and died -with the consequence of Adam's idiotic choice.
It's at times like today, when I stand beside a coffin and read about the resurrection of Jesus as conqueror over sin and death that the power of the Gospel hits home again. Jesus was dead and buried, but death could not hold him. All the forces of hell tried with all their might to keep him in the grave; they were doomed to fail. The power of his indestructible life raised him from the dead to a resurrection life in which he will never die again. And for those of us in Christ, the future is the same. Even though we will die physically until he returns, our resurrection is assured - we will live forever! The real power of the Gospel is not that Jesus died: it's that he rose again and is alive today.