When my sister was battling cancer, though she got weaker and sicker every day, none of us dared to talk about the obvious. It was almost as if we thought that if we didn’t say certain words, we would be able to defy the inevitable.
I wonder if this is how the disciples felt when Jesus told them He was going to die. The Bible tells us that they were grieved. Peter even denied what Jesus was saying, and Jesus rebuked Him severely.
As our pastor talked about this briefly in his sermon today, I realized that I can relate to the disciples’ pain. I know what it’s like to say goodbye to someone you love. For an instant my eyes teared and my chest got heavy listening to the sermon.
Memories flooded my mind of our farewell.
My last words were, “I will see you again.” They were spoken with tenacity and gritt. Her blue eyes locked determinedly with mine despite her inability to lift her head for days. For one brief moment God gave us the miracle of eye contact and then I walked out the door to get on a plane to return to my family who also needed me. Broken-hearted. Grieved. Devastated.
Just like the disciples.
But that’s not the end of the disciples’ story. And today I was reminded that because of the resurrection of Jesus, heaven is not just something I hope for, it is something I am assured. Because Jesus met Mary called Magdalene in the tombs, I know beyond knowing this life is not the end.
Jesus came out of the grave and walked the earth for 40 days in a glorified state. His body could walk through walls. They did not recognize Him because he looked different–glorified, yet still scarred from His suffering on the Cross.
The miracle of Easter that we will celebrate in a few weeks is the miracle that makes hope reality.
My sister and I never had the chance to be neighbors on this side of heaven, but I know that one day we will live side by side forever.
Who do you want to live next door to in heaven?