I just returned home, emotionally stretched and somewhat paralyzed to any plans for a ‘normal’ day, having been deeply confronted by reality again. These are very profitable and necessary times of renewal in heart and mind.

I had the blessed privilege of committing the body of David Esquivel, a very dear and faithful brother in the Lord, to rest in the grave until the voice of our Lord commands his resurrection. I am reminded that “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones” (Ps 116:15). That it is wisdom to number our days, to know our end and to consider the extent of our days; to know how transient we are (Ps 39:4; 90:12).

Nothing confronts us with reality like death. It is the echo and most riveting scream of the curse; the consequence of sin. We must not neglect the purpose of death, any more than we neglect the purpose of pain. To neglect the purpose of death would be a terrible travesty of life.

Now, one of the foremost purposes of death is to remind us that God is holy and all sin will be judged. That “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb 9:27). But the good news, that we call the gospel, is that “[the Father] made [the Son] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21). Christ died on behalf of sinners who place their living and dying trust in Him as their substitute.

The way, the truth, and the life of Christ shine amazingly bright when you watch through tearing eyes a casket being lowered into the earth. The gravity of finality grips the soul at such a sight. The emotions are stirred with tremendous energy, as you are being confronted by such graphic reality.

Death is a powerful preacher of reality, and its cutting message points to the greater reality and greater finality of Christ, who is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). This is the living hope of Christians because of Christ (1 Peter 1:3-5). There is no hope of forgiveness of sins, the defeat of death, and resurrection of life in any other but the crucified and resurrected God-man, Jesus Christ.

Because of our hope in Christ, even the most intense confrontation of reality will, in the end, only increase our desire for God.

“Thank you, Lord, for the blessed gift and love you have given us in the life of David Esquivel. We will treasure our memories of him until we see him again in your kingdom. This we know is reality and praise you for such a sweet anticipation. We pray also for the comfort of his family. Amen.”