Welcome. On behalf of the family of the deceased I would like to thank you for being here.
You have come to a funeral of sorts haven’t you? Well, that’s what they say I suppose.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go to your own funeral?
Zhang Deyang was 66 years old when he decided to stage his own funeral. He arranged it himself, wondering how many would turn up given that he had never married and had no children. There was a particular reason for his concern—in Chinese culture, the dead are said to have needs, and their graves are supposed to be visited regularly to ensure those needs are met.
In the event, 40 invitees turned up at Deyang’s funeral, along with several hundred others. Yet he wasn’t happy: 20 relatives and friends didn’t show up. “I can’t believe so many relatives and friends don’t care about me,” he was quoted as saying.
Would anyone come to your funeral? What would they say?
I’m sure some teary eyed relative might say something good about most of you right? Have you ever been to a funeral where people didn’t say anything nice? Everyone cries at a funeral, so what? They are supposed to.
So don’t get a big head. Lets be honest. If everyone was honest at your funeral would you be declared a saint.?
We don’t do eulogies in our funeral services at Emmanuel because we don’t let BS in the church. Telling great stories about so and so are fine at home with a couple of beers! I encourage it!
But not here.
If people really knew all you have said and done. what would they really say?
If they knew all your thoughts, words, secret desires that fly through your head throughout the day.
If they knew that you were pretty stingy with your money. Just the other day you walked by that kid being bullied in the hallway. You pretended not to see.
If they knew that you still judged that jerk who hurt you 5 years ago and you now wished he was dead.
If they knew how you talk to your wife at home when no one is watching, or what you do on your computer when no one is watching.
What if God were to speak at your funeral service.
They say that everyone should be able to die with dignity. There is a whole movement called ‘death with dignity.’ Of course they ironically promote suicide. But still we like that don’t we? Death with dignity.
Brothers and sisters in Christ! No one dies with dignity. We die precisely because we have no dignity! Death is punishment for sin. If you die. That is proof you are a sinner!
Well I made a mistake. No one has ever died with dignity except for one! Jesus.
This is his funeral service isn’t it?
Yet what kind of death did Jesus get? It certainly wasn’t dignified!
At jesus’ funeral service they mocked him. They dressed him up as a King and spit on him. They whipped him 40 times. They stole his clothes. They nailed him on a tree gleefully.
At Jesus’ funeral there was no eulogy praising him. Peter denied even knowing him! Judas betrayed him! Others yelled out, “He saved others, let him save himself if he really is the Son of God!”
At Jesus’ funeral they threw him on a cross. They treated him like a sinner! A thief. An enemy of the state!
When He was dead, they stabbed him in the side to make sure! They happily dragged his body off the cross and threw him in a grave.
Jesus, the sinless one. Jesus is the only one to have ever have any dignity! He’s the only one who deserves to have a funeral service with dignity.
So you have come to a funeral service this Good Friday huh?
This is not a funeral service for Jesus.
This is a funeral service for you!
That’s what good Friday is all about! When Jesus died, He took you with him!!!
All of your sins. All of your foolishness. All of your shame. Everything that was done to him, should have been done to you! But it wasn’t!
He received it all in your place!
All your lack of dignity was laid upon Him.
So from now on you do die with dignity! not your dignity – but Christ’s!
Paul tells us that all of us who were baptized into Jesus were baptized into His death! we were buried with him – Paul says!
This is your funeral service!
So you don’t need to be afraid of your funeral service when it comes!
Doesn’t matter what people say!
Doesn’t matter what Satan accuses you of!
You already died in Christ! and all your sins with with you!
in Jesus name