by Jeff Strite

Funeral for a Tragic Death
Jeff Strite
John 11:17-44

(James died of an overdose of drugs at the age of 21. The family asked for a memorial service at the church building and more than 60 people arrived to show their respect).

I can’t tell you how moved I am that so many of you have come to show their love and respect for James and his family. Death is always a difficult time and your presence has gone a long way toward helping this family in their grief.

And the Bible says it’s actually good for us to be here today.
In Ecclesiastes 7:2, God says this:
‘‘It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every person; the living should take this to heart.’’

Why would it be good for us to be here?
Because this is a time for us to remember the life God gave James. It’s a time to share our memories and to encourage and lean on each other.
It’s also a time for us to say good-bye to James. Saying goodbye is very important for us because James meant so much to so many of us.
And, lastly, this is a time to ponder our own mortality. Because one day all of us will die. It’s not a matter of IF we’ll die, but only when. Thus, this is a good time to ask ourselves some basic questions.
Questions like, ‘‘Am I ready to die?’’
And ‘‘Where will I go when my life is over?’’

When it comes right down to it, this service is more for us who are living than for the person (that we’ve loved) who has died.

READING: John 11:17-44

It’s said that Jesus never performed a funeral.
Whenever Jesus came to a funeral the dead rose from the grave.
And when that happened, the funeral was over.

But this funeral is a little different.
This was a funeral for a man who was one of Jesus’ close friends.
His name was Lazarus.

Lazarus had two sisters Mary and Martha and when Jesus arrived 4 days after Lazarus’s death, each of these sisters ran out to Him at different times and said exactly the same t ...

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