Why Attending Your Own Funeral is Crucial to the Christian Life

I said my final good-bye and walked away from the grave. It wasn’t easy. Funerals never are. They’re full of pain, loss and grief. But this funeral was different.

Because it was my own.

Yep. I died to my old ways and buried them myself. Old attitudes, habits and behaviors I had picked up over the years were all thrown into the grave and covered up with dirt. But unlike most funerals, where the grave represents the end of a person’s life on earth, this kind of funeral–according to the Apostle Paul–was only the beginning:

“We were buried with Him…that just as Christ was raised from the dead…even so we also should walk in the newness of life” (Romans 6:4)

Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross not only so that we could have eternal life, but so that we may also walk in the ‘newness of life’ on earth. But this newness of life doesn’t just go “poof” and happen on its own. Just like Jesus had to die so that God could raise Him up, we too must die so that we may be raised up with Him. Oswald Chambers said,

“If there has never been this crucial moment of change through death, sanctification will never be more than an elusive dream.”

Salvation can only happen through Jesus’ death. But if we want to experience real, true, authentic change in our lives, it can only happen through our own death. We must choose to die to our old ways if we are to experience the transforming power of Jesus in our lives. He cannot do it for us.

But we can go to the cemetery, not with doom and gloom, but with hope and excitement, knowing that this kind of spiritual death is not the end of the road, but merely the beginning of a new thrilling and fulfilling adventure with God! He replaces our self-willed life with His resurrection life, empowering us to do the very same works (and more) that Jesus did when He walked the earth. How awesome is that?

So, when’s your funeral?

Challenge Questions:

1.Meditate on Romans 6:4. What does being ‘buried with Him’ mean to you?

2.In what ways have you experienced radical internal transformation as a result of knowing Jesus? If you haven’t, pray and ask God what might be hindering or blocking that process from taking place.

3.As you reflect on the death of Jesus this week leading up to Easter, examine your own life and see if there is there anything that needs to be buried or re-buried in your life (Selfishness? Pride? Greed? Lust? Distrust?) The Christian life is a life-long journey of transformation and therefore requires multiple ‘deaths’ of our fleshy nature along the way. Pray and ask God what He might be asking you to ‘die’ to in order that you may experience resurrection life with Him more fully.

Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Happy Easter!

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One Comment on “Why Attending Your Own Funeral is Crucial to the Christian Life

  1. This is so true to what I have been going through in my life now. In following Christ there is inner change and it is never easy, but Jesus promised that He would be with us all the way. Dying to my old ways meant that I should die to everything. My way of living, the way I think about people, my way of worshiping the Lord. I even have to give up my old friends, my plans, my dreams.

    When I truly accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I knelt down and said that I need help because on my own, I won’t be able to change.

    I didn’t do it on my own. I CAN’T. God isn’t cutting some branches of my life here and there. From what He is doing. He is pulling the whole tree out. But I had to die, because everything I was hinders Jesus truly transforming me into a new me. Everyday, I still need to bury my selfishness,my pride. Jesus isn’t done with me yet.

    Its hard. It is really hard. But I would rather lose everything else rather than lose Jesus in my life because I know in the end. He is worth it. His love is worth it.

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