A time to die
My friend told a story about a funeral he attended; the deceased was a member of his church. My friend planned to arrive right before the pastor started the services; hoping to sit near the back – it was his intention to leave right after the service. To his surprise, there was one seat left; right in the front row, on the isle. As he sat down, they immediately brought the casket forward, brushing his shoulder as they positioned it at the front. He noticed the wooden casket, how beautiful it was. An eye-catching grain ran the full length, you couldn’t help but marvel what nature can do through creation; it even had a lock on the lid. My friend wondered why there was a need for a lock on a coffin. A lock certainly would not keep thieves away. Perhaps it brings contentment to the relatives or maybe, it was the wishes of the deceased. Twenty years earlier, I was a pall-bearer at another funeral. Our church is rural so we had to carry that casket out the back, over a road and through uneven lots – where we placed it on the lowering device. That was no easy task for six middle-age men. The service made my friend wonder about the time when there would be a need for his burial. He would not be comfortable putting a large sum of money into his coffin. His comments made me reflect on my own departure. As a young person, I never wanted to die but years of study have shown how selfish that thought is. If I never pass away, I would be trapped in this world forever. Death brings a release from the rigors of human living and brings an opportunity to step into a new dimension, with our savior. There are responsibilities that one must accomplish to be invited to heaven. Just because we live, that is not a guarantee of heavenly entry. If we have allowed God to put his lock on us; no one can take us away from him. That locksmith is Jesus. There must come a time when we seek eternity while we are on this earth. In 2nd Samuel 3:33 Abner died a fool. In Numbers 23:10 the author wants to die a righteous man. The Bible calls people fools, if they reject the teachings of God. Who holds the key to your lock?