Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me (John 14:1, NASB1995).
If I preach your funeral message!?!
No, I’m not making a prediction. I hope the Lord comes back next Friday at 11:32 a.m., and I never have to preach another memorial sermon.
But when I do preach a sermon, I turn to John 14. Why?
In John 14, Jesus preaches His own funeral sermon. I doubt you can get a better example of a memorial sermon!
Jesus tells His disciples in John 13:33 and 36, “Little children, I am with you a little while longer . . . Where I am going, you cannot come.” Of course, Peter quickly asks, “Lord, where are you going?”
In a sense, in John chapter 14, Jesus preaches His own memorial sermon. It’s His words of comfort, knowing that He will soon be crucified and that the apostles will suddenly find themselves without their Messiah on this earth.
Jesus begins by saying, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.”
When I’m preaching a funeral sermon, I open the message with . . .
We live our lives day to day, month to month, year to year, and then someone we know passes into eternity. When eternity touches time, we stop. We can no longer live routinely without thinking of the more important matters. We ask the questions: Why? Is there eternity? Will I see this person again?
Jesus answers all these questions in verse 2 of John 14 . . .
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
The word “place” in the Greek, indicates eternal purpose and peace. It answers the question of “Is there eternity?” and the question of “Why?”
Jesus will prepare a “place” in which we find our ultimate purpose. Though we can’t understand the reasons God allows death and suffering on earth, this “place” indicates that we will know God and His purposes when we get to heaven.
We can find peace in our hope now.
The Apostle Paul writes . . .
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).
With Jesus answering the “Why?” and “What?” we will find in heaven, He then tells His apostles that they will see Him again. Jesus says . . .
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:3).
Thousands of memorial sermons can be preached on the implications of this verse. Yes, they will see Jesus again; yes, He will have a physical body, and they will recognize Him; and yes, they will spend eternity with Him.
Wow! But consider the implication in our lives today of the Apostles seeing Jesus again after His death.
We will be able to see our loved ones again. We will be able to recognize them, talk to them, give them hugs (even though I don’t like to hug), and most important, spend eternity with them.
Jesus gives a message of hope in the funeral message He preached about Himself. I can’t add anything else to my memorial message when I preach at a funeral. We have a hope that will not disappoint.
But again, I don’t want to preach another funeral sermon, and if Jesus returns next Friday at 11:32 a.m. . . .
I won’t have to!!!