Have you ever worried about dying? Have you wondered what happens to a loved one when they pass away? Every spring, colorful bulbs and budding trees replace the deadness of winter and proclaim the hope of resurrection. So let’s look at three ways Easter transforms how we look at death.
My friend gently cupped his dying father’s limp hand in his own and prayed silently even as he braced himself for the inevitable last breath. But what happened next stunned — and comforted — him. His comatose father’s eyes flew open, he looked toward the ceiling, and said, “Son, I see Jesus, and your mother is standing next to Him.” Then he was gone.
Fellow writer Holly Solomon recently described her own mother’s passing. “After several days of seeing others in her room who had passed on before, as well as angels flying around the ceiling of her bedroom, she told us it was beautiful there and breathed her last on February 19 at 9:50 p.m.”
I don’t think these were hallucinations. I believe they were preludes to these saints’ heavenly dwelling places.
On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that He was about to leave them. The news shook them. So, He provided assurance for them that also applies to us. “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me” (John 16:16).
Jesus knew He was headed to the cross. But He knew the resurrection would follow the crucifixion. He knew Easter was coming. And that would change everything.
1. Because of Easter We’ll Have a Perfect Home
Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. Easter shows us that Jesus conquered death. He was not left in the tomb, and neither will we be. Listen to His words to His disciples: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:1-3).
The disciples were understandably troubled at the thought of losing Jesus. So, Jesus made them a promise. He would pass through death and go to heaven to prepare a place for them and for all believers. Easter provides the hope that where we go after we die will be infinitely better than what we leave. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).
2. Because of Easter We’ll Have Perfect Bodies
The Bible says that as Jesus was raised from the dead, so all believers will be raised (1 Cor. 15:20-23). And the really good news is our new bodies will be better than the ones we have now that wear out and die. Easter lilies and amaryllis bulbs share something in common. Anyone unfamiliar with them could never imagine something so drab producing such delicate beauty. When I read about our resurrected bodies I think of the dramatic difference between a bulb and a blossom.
“It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies” (1 Cor. 15:42-44).
This year when you see an Easter lily, think about the drab bulb from which it came and marvel. Your resurrected body will be more spectacular than that lily in contrast to your earthly body.
3. Because of Easter We Can Live without Fear of Death
Death is an uncomfortable subject many people avoid because they fear facing their own death. Since, statistically speaking, 100% of the population will die, it is an area we all need to prepare for. God the Son left heaven and became human so that He could conquer death and remove the fear of it from us. Easter reminds us that we need no longer fear death. By dying and being raised to life again, Jesus broke the power of death.
“Because God’s children are human beings — made of flesh and blood — the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Where I live, Easter arrives on the calendar at the same time the earth is putting on its most splendid display of color and beauty. What a perfect reminder of the hope Jesus’ resurrection brings to us. Easter transformed death into the door to eternity. Those who accept Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection on behalf of their sin have the promise of eternal life (1 John 5:13). And when it is time to leave this earth, Jesus has promised, “I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:3).