Yesterday I met with a heart-broken family that has endured the tragic loss of an 18 month old child. Today, the family and I will gather with many of their friends to say goodbye to little Jayla.
Today is Good Friday. It is the day that we pause to remember the death of Jesus Christ on the cruel cross of Calvary. If it were not for the death of Jesus and His resurrection a few days later, I would be left speechless. I would have no words of hope or comfort to share with this family.
The hope that is ours today, and the hope that comforts people who experience their own personal tragedies is found in one of the early church documents. The message of the Nicene Creed is this . . . For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
As you read that quote from the Nicene Creed, I hope you felt the impact of the first three words: For our Sake. Jesus suffered, bled, and died for our benefit.
As we gather at the graveside today, the atmosphere will be heavy with sorrow. Something else will be present too–the refreshing breeze of hope will be there. In the 4th chapter of I Thessalonians, Paul says that the believer sorrows not as others who have no hope.
As you go about your business today, pause to say a prayer for the family of Jayla. Do something else: Pause another second, and thank God for the hope we have in His Son.