I would like to volunteer for holy angel duty when Jesus is ready to return to awaken His sleeping kids. I would like to be one of the angels who gets to put a sweet baby back in the reaching arms of its mother.
When death claims our children, they rest in the earth undisturbed. They have no knowledge of anything going on in their absence. They don’t know about our sorrow. There is no ticking clock in the grave. Time stops. They get to sleep. (Ecclesiastes 9:5) When the plug is pulled, the separation occurs. Their breath returns to God and their bodies go nowhere. There is no spirit to go anywhere. There is no longer life as we know it. The Bible explains exactly what death is.
Therefore, my son is sleeping in the earth. He is in a cemetery, a very quiet place. He ceased to live. Nothing of him went to heaven. He is not up there watching over us. He does not get there first. The Bible says we all go together. I like that. It would be even harder if I thought he was up there, sad and lonely without his family. The Bible does not say that he becomes an angel either. God created angels and He has all He needs for His work.
I am reminded of a story I heard about a senior high school student who passed away. Her fellow students were naturally very sad about her death, but they wanted to honor her in some way. A few of them approached the girl’s parents and asked if they could write personal messages on the inside of the coffin lid. This may seem to be an odd request, but the parents agreed and the funeral director agreed so a time was set for the young people to do this.
Imagine writing messages in the high school yearbook to one’s friends. This was like that, but these messages were all about the hope of the resurrection. One message was particularly precious. A student wrote this note in the satin lining right above the young lady’s eyes:
“IF YOU CAN READ THIS, YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE . . . . . .”
Can you picture what happens next? Jesus shouts so loud the ground rumbles around the world as graves shake open. The lid pops off our young friend’s coffin and she takes to the skies like all the others who loved Jesus and hear His call. The grave could not hold Jesus when His Father called him awake so long ago and the grave can’t hold those who died trusting Jesus to come again. How awesome is that?!
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:12
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. Romans 6:5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4