Last week I was asked to come to the hospital by one of the families we work with at YFC. One of their family members was in palliative care due to cancer and they were requesting someone to come, meet and pray with them. As I entered the room, the hospital bed was surrounded by family members of all ages who had traveled to the city to share in this moment. This is a scene that I have become all too familiar with as I have been with many who have gone through this last portion of their journey on earth.
I sat by the bedside, held this gentleman’s hand, assuring him that he was not alone. Not just because there were so many family members who were gathered, but because there was a loving God who knew him and was present. I had the opportunity of sharing with him of Jesus who promised to never leave or forsake us. For when we leave this earth, with our faith and hope in Jesus, we will have the privilege to see him face to face; assured of a glad welcoming.
As I left the room, thoughts filled my mind of how crucial it is that young people have the opportunity to know about the hope of Jesus for each aspect of life. For it is not simply in death that one finds themselves feeling alone. There are many moments in life we hear and believe the lie: “I’m all alone…”. Yet it is in Jesus that youth discover they are not alone. It is in Jesus that youth discover they are loved unconditionally. It is in Jesus that youth discover they are forgiven. It is in Jesus that youth discover their precious identity that no one can destroy. It is in Jesus that they discover a freedom to live life abundantly.
I believe it is because as Jesus walked his final steps on his earthly journey to Calvary’s cross; as he took the nails that pierced his stripped and brutally beaten body; as he hung on a cross while people spit on him and shouted insults shaming his name; as he took upon himself the selfishness, sinfulness and judgement of all humankind; and that as he took his final breaths, he declared for creation and all time “It is finished!” There is no more to be added, Jesus completed what needed to be done.
Then as Jesus took upon himself the darkness, loneliness, sinfulness and shame to the grave and overcame death through his resurrection, hope was given to anyone who would believe and receive. A hope that in life and death we too can overcome the fallen and broken state of the world through Christ. A restored confidence that we can live life victoriously and abundantly because we are loved unconditionally and are never, ever alone!
May you have a blessed Easter weekend as you reflect on God’s amazing grace.