We all need a visit to the funeral home. Your response to that is: “Jeff, I’ve had enough visits there. I’d just as soon stay away.” I hear you, but hear me out. We need to go when we can be somewhat detached and consider the event and not the person.
Observe the absolute stillness of the body, the total absence of movement. Where once there was animation - the raising of the hand to gesture, the tongue and lips working in unison to engage in conversation, the blinking of the eyes - all now motionless.
Feel the hand. What was at one time warm to the touch and itself used to give warmth and comfort is now terribly cold. The cheeks which were ruddy with the flow of lifeblood are now colored to make the body look like it used to be. We praise the funeral director for making a “lovely” memory (as it should be), but the attempt to portray former days of life is clearly a ruse.
Stillness, coldness, paleness - lifelessness.
We gaze upon the body much like it would have been before God breathed life into Adam. Life does not exist apart from God. No breath we draw is really our own. We live by His will.
And this body which once was filled with excitement and joy, purpose and possibilities, now lies in lifeless decay for one reason and one reason only - sin. If we fail to make this connection, to learn this lesson, we have missed the reason for our visit. For death is not a chance occurrence. It is not the natural end of a being evolving in a long line of other beings toward a higher plane of existence.
Death is the unnatural end of a being who has fallen from its lofty pinnacle of being in fellowship with God. And only God can give life again by restoring that relationship. He promises to do just that through Jesus who is the Resurrection and the Life.
The Preacher, the son of David, tells us that it is better to visit a house of mourning rather than a house of feasting. He was a wise man. Shall we listen to his counsel?