Like many of you, this Easter, I celebrate a radical truth—that Jesus died and rose to pay the price for our failures and affirm he is in fact the Son of God. But this is a different Easter for me. My father died this past Monday night. After a few days in the hospital and a weekend in hospice care, his life on this earth ended.
When you face death with family, you realize you are in a journey in some darkness and some mystery, lots of mystery. What happens next is suddenly more poignant. Resurrection becomes much more relevant. I found myself talking more candidly with dad about the future. Like many in his generation, dad has been pretty private about feelings and faith. But imminent death changed all of this. What was clear was that he was ready to be released from machines and medications—and his worn-out body!
Now, if we were a Hindu family, our hope would be that there was a rigorous outworking of karma in dad's life. Dad would return in a different existence to pursue his next stage in the next cycle of life. If we were an Orthodox Jewish family, we would trust that by our pedigree and our commitment to Torah would lead to eternal life. If we were Buddhists, our assumption would be that dad would be absorbed into the formless beyond. If we were Secularists, with no real conviction of a God, we would have no real hope. We are just an episode between two oblivions. I would probably tell dad, "Let's explore every medical procedure we can to extend life,"—for that is all there is.
I believe there is a far better answer, and we celebrate it today. If there is no Easter—there is no better message, no better answer. We may as well choose from the aforementioned categories. ...
This sermon is available to PreachingToday.com members only.