He was no respecter of persons – young or old or conservative or
liberal or healthy or sick. The one who is laid to rest today was
completely impartial showing no favoritism, but treating everyone
Wherever there was trouble, you would find him there: At the scenes
of accidents that abruptly ended the lives of precious mothers and
fathers. He was there when the gunman aimed a deadly weapon at
innocent children and opened fire. He was there when the flood
waters of a tsunami washed over an island, or a hurricane blew
through, or a tornado twisted its way across the land leaving
shattered lives and dreams in its wake.
In the city you’d find him hanging with the gangs, helping them get
high and convincing them that respect and drugs were worth killing
or dying for. He loved the rural communities, too, and spent much
time on the backroads of our land. Whether he was cooking meth or
dealing heroin, or finding creative ways to poison our food and
water supplies with new pesticides. Sometimes, just for kicks he’d
convince teenagers to drive too fast on country roads and then throw
something hard in their way to bring a sudden end to their young
His bag of tricks was bottomless – sicknesses, like hundreds of
varieties of cancer, ALS, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, lung disease, liver
disease, kidney disease, were his specialty. He was a whiz at
crafting new viruses and bacteria to kill people in creative and
He was no couch potato, but he helped to harden the arteries of more
than a few, providing endless hours of televised entertainment with
murder after murder, war upon war, zombie this and zombie that.
Governments and kings and terrorists all over the globe had
contracted him for his particular set of skills. So long as they
could use him as a threat, they held great power over the people.
They thought him an ally, but in the end he would turn on them and
consume them with the very sword they thought they controlled,
proving he always wins in the end.
His appetite to devour life was insatiable. There was always one
more body to destroy. One more dream to shatter. One more family to
dismantle. At work for untold centuries he had never passed up a
single opportunity to flex his muscle and show everybody who was
boss, and in the end that’s what killed him.
[to top of second column]
For when God’s one and only Son showed up wearing the flesh of
humanity, the very stuff he loved to feast upon, he couldn’t help
himself. Doing his very best (or would that be his very worst?), he
whispered lies into the hearts of his religious and political
associates and convinced them that Jesus had to die. He had to die
painfully. He had to die thoroughly. He was determined to make God’s
Son his prize trophy. His lies worked and Jesus was indeed beaten
mercilessly, mocked and humiliated, and nailed to a pole to die in
disgrace and agony.
But when Jesus gave up the ghost, when He died, without warning He
seized Death and dragged him into the pit with Him. Death had never
been defeated. He had a spotless record. Everyone who had ever lived
had grappled with him and lost. But as powerful as death was, he was
just no match for Jesus. They both went to the grave that day –
but only Jesus came out.
So today, we come to mourn… no that’s not the right way to say it.
We come to celebrate the life of… no that’s not quite right either…
We come to this, the last funeral of all time. Death is at last
being laid to rest. Good-bye. And good riddance.
“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the
dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So
you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the
resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as
everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to
Christ will be given new life… After that the end will come, when he
will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every
ruler and authority and power. For Christ must reign until he
humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be
destroyed is death.” – from 1 Corinthians 15:20 - 26 NLT
Lincoln Church of the Nazarene
2501 Woodlawn Road