Someone has called it the only question that really matters. It is a question we might prefer to leave alone, but there are times we can’t avoid it. Sometimes it stares us in the face, demanding an answer.
The question? What about death? Is it friend or foe? Should I be afraid? Will I see my family again?
If religion has no answer for death, it really is not worth very much in the end. Fortunately, the answer isn’t so much a religion. The answer is a person.
It happened in Brazil. People were dying of a curable disease. They only had to travel an hour’s walk to a clinic to receive the treatment they needed. But they had to cross a river. This particular river terrified them. They believed it to be full of evil spirits.
A missionary begged them to cross. He tried to convince them not to be afraid. He dipped his hands into the river. He threw water on his face. The people only backed away. He even waded in, but no one followed until he dove in, swam underwater, and emerged on the other side. The people cheered. They followed. They lived.
Jesus healed the sick. People were skeptical. He called death a sleep (Mark 5:39). People laughed. Even when he woke a dead girl many doubted. At another time he called Lazarus out of a four-day grave (John 11:38-44), and still they were afraid.
Then Jesus died and emerged alive.
Do you see it? The only question is answered by the only One who really has the right — the Savior who dove willingly into the river of death on our behalf. “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). That’s what Jesus said. An empty tomb is how he proved it.
Death is dead, so you and I can live. The answer is Jesus, the source of love, joy, peace, and life.