The more I’ve thought about last Sunday’s gospel message this week, the less I’ve thought of death and all that’s unknown about it. That seems remarkable to me considering I had a funeral to officiate yesterday, and two funerals to officiate today. Surrounded by so much death, I keep hearing Jesus words about the poor man, Lazarus, and how hard his life was on earth, and then the words, “Abraham’s Bosom” keep coming back to me as a picture of Heaven.
I know that term doesn’t have the same effect on those who are not Jewish, but think about it with me for a minute. To the Jew (the Rich man was Jewish), Abraham’s Bosom was a picture of complete comfort. Abraham was the spiritual father of all Jewish people; it was in Him that they had their belonging as a covenant people of God. We gentiles are also children of Abraham through the reconciliation of Jesus Christ. God only has one covenant people, and if you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, you’re part of the covenant.
Jesus told the story of the Rich man and Lazarus, not to scare us into the realization that Hell is real and full of torment (Re-read of the Rich Man’s agony), even though it is. He told it also for us who believe to be comforted by the thought of Abraham’s Bosom. Jesus called this place, Paradise when He promised the thief on the cross he would be with Him. Abraham’s Bosom is Paradise. Heaven is Paradise. Why? Because it is with Jesus, and all the blessed saints and loved ones who have died before us in faith.
Let your heart dwell on Paradise. If you’ve had a rough week, think about the fact that we were not meant for this world and all it’s harsh realities. Lazarus had a really bad life as Jesus told it in the story, but the Paradise he inherited at death was worth it all.
There are days when life can be extremely difficult for me. I’m sure it’s the same for you. But even in the worst of those days, they are better than what Hell will be like. And, I always find that tomorrow still comes. Yesterday was a very difficult day for me personally, but God’s promises are true. His mercy is new every morning, I can feel it.
As we move from Friday to Sunday, won’t you let your heart dwell in thoughts of Abraham’s Bosom? Whatever is the greatest image of paradise you can image, Heaven will be even greater, so go ahead, think about it. Death, going to Heaven, is really a quite romantic thought; it’s a love story of reconciliation between a bridegroom and his long lost bride. Let the promise of Heaven be real for you today. I really think that’s the bigger part of the story in Luke 16.
Grace & Peace
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”