Many of us often make it a habit of reading the obituaries to see which one of our classmates, co-workers, friends, and family have gone on to meet their reward. Obituaries tell us about where a person was born, lived, one’s immediate family history, one’s occupation, hobbies, and many other things, as well as times of the funeral and burial location. These notices of death are a daily reminder that our life on earth is not permanent. Obituaries have a finality to them, they become a permanent record and reminder that a loved one is not present with us in this life any more.
Now as one reads the Bible it becomes very clear that Jesus never had an obituary. We read about His birth in Bethlehem (Mt. 1:18 – 2:6). We can learn about His family (Mt. 1:1-17). We can learn about much of His life and ministry in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We can also learn about the events leading up to His death and His actual death upon the cross in these same passages of the Bible. But the one thing no can find in the Bible is Jesus’ obituary.
First Corinthians 15:1-4, explains it this way, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…”.
First Corinthians 15:20-23 continues to teach, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
Because Jesus, by the power of God, was raised from the dead, His death was not the end. The Bible also makes it clear that not only did Jesus raise from the dead but all people will be raised at Jesus’ second coming, some to a resurrection of life; others to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29). Those who obey Jesus’ doctrine which “reenacts” the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ through faith, repentance, and baptism (Romans 6:1-4, 17) are cleansed from their sins, can continue to be faithful to Christ, have the hope of being raised at His second coming to be with Christ forever in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
Jesus’ death was not permanent; His grave was not final; the tomb was not Jesus’ final resting place. Jesus does not have an obituary because Jesus did not remain in the grave. Jesus death, burial, and resurrection is the “good news” of the Bible. Jesus does not have an obituary. He came not to have an ending but bring a new beginning. What will your obituary say? Will it tell how you lived because you followed the One who arose from the grave and never had an obituary? Have you been saved? You can be, if you’ll respond to Jesus on His terms.
Think about it!
Mark T. Tonkery