Matt 17:1-4 “Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.”
I have lately had people close to me lose brothers and mothers to death. My mother in law, in particular, lost an aunt a month ago and her brother a year ago to the inevitable fate that looms in all of our minds, death. I remember her coming teary-eyed out of her bedroom and breaking the news to us. She looked at me and asked, “Are my aunt and brother in heaven?”
Obviously, after thoughts of Jesus being confessed as their personal savior and redeemer, this passage for some reason came to my mind in that moment…
I said, the poet William Blake wrote about death being just a door. I explained that Moses and Elijah appeared in Spirit before Jesus and a few disciples many years after Moses died and Elijah was caught up into heaven. They had a purpose even after this life was over, a plan that God had for them to continue to walk in.
Every time I think about death lately I think of this unlikely passage in the Bible. It reminds me, that like Moses and Elijah, God is going to use me even after this life is through. I want to live my life for things that death and time can’t do away with. How about you?
I also do not want to fear death. I know that may sound like an audacious statement. But I want to write a song that I can sing when I am dying, that I believe I will wake up in the next life singing with the angels surrounding me. Haha that would be cool!
N.T. Wright says, “If you belong to Jesus you will go to heaven to be with him; that’s what ‘paradise’ means. But that’s just the long bright tunnel before the new country begins. And when God makes a new heaven and new earth, he will raise you from the dead and give you a new body so that you can live in that new world, and indeed help God run it. That’s the deal; that’s what the New Testament promises, even though many generations of Christians have never even begun to realize it.”
I love this thought! That’s why it bothers me that when someone dies we always say they have ‘passed away.’ I don’t like the picture that paints in my head at all. Instead, I like saying they have ‘passed on’ meaning they have lived this life and that their soul is now with the Lord. They are awaiting the Resurrection when our bodies will be gloriously transformed!
May we live in this time remembering death is just a door and that after we have a time of rest in heaven we will be put to a task in the Lord’s service. God has work in mind for us to accomplish beyond this present life, just like Moses and Elijah.