Last words are important. They ring in our ears and we ponder their significance. On Saturday, I bent down to kiss my mother good-bye, knowing that this would probably be the last time I would see her on this earth. I gave her an extra long hug. Her weary 93-year-old eyes looked up at me, and she said what she always said to me when I would leave to drive back to Wheaton, “Get home safe.”
Mom spent her last days in hospice at the Comfort House in Pella, Iowa. During her last day on earth, I sat by her bedside and read Scripture and softly sang some of her favorite hymns. Hospice is a place where people die. How can it be a place of comfort? But it was because God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, was there. Mom died in the room called, LOVE, which had the words of Ephesians 3:18-19 inscribed over the door. “May you have power, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” The love of Christ enveloped her in those last days. http://www.coburnfuneralhomes.com/obituary/124104/Winifred-Soetenga-of-Monroe-Iowa/
This week on Good Friday we will ponder the love of Christ. Jesus spent His last hours on the cross. His final words were “It is finished.” A statement of resignation to the inevitable? Hardly. A cry of victory! His work was complete. “Only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Hebrews 2:14-15; Isa. 53:6 NLT) No wonder the Apostle Paul says that this love is beyond comprehension.
But the story doesn’t end there. Easter reminds us that death did not have the last word. Jesus was raised to eternal life, the firstborn from the dead. Because He lives, we who believe in Him, will be granted eternal life as well. “The one who believes in Jesus will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25) Jesus came to provide a way for us to go home to God the Father where there will be no more sin, sadness, sickness or death.
This Easter, “Get Home Safe.”
Consider joining us for our Easter Week Services:
Good Friday, April 18: 6:00 & 8:00 p.m.
Easter Saturday, April 19: 5 p.m. at the South Wheaton Campus, Edison Middle School
Easter Sunday, April 20: 6:30, 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.