Genesis 50:14, “And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.”
Joseph and his brothers had honored their father, Jacob, obeying his instructions regarding his funeral. Jacob died and was embalmed to be brought from Egypt to Canaan, where he was buried – in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite.
The Bible does not describe the death and burial of any other man with as much honor and wealth as Jacob had. The burial of Jacob is the most impressive burial recorded in the Bible. Although Jacob failed in many tests of life, his passion for God was great. He received many blessings from the Lord and understood that the greatest blessing was the Lord Himself. Jacob blessed his children before he died.
For a believer, death is a change, a change from what is earthly to what is heavenly; from what is temporary to what is eternal. Believers should not be afraid of death, even if they are going through pain, weakness, illness. Most people suffer before they die. The way we see death helps us to live today as we should.
Pain is a fact when someone is sick or dies. It is normal to grieve, but not as those who have no hope. As long as we live, we work, therefore, let us leave the pain for loved ones behind, because we have those who are still alive, and they need our help.
Joseph did not call any Egyptian priest to officiate at the funeral. He did not want to introduce the family to pagan practices. What kind of practices of your society is the Lord calling you to give up? Do you want your death to be a celebration of your life? What would you like to leave behind? A beautiful memory? People look at the way believers die and they watch the reactions of their survivors. Even the death of a believer can be a witness. Have you ever been influenced by the death or the funeral of a believer?
Trusting in the Lord’s plan of redemption removes the sting of death.
Whom has the Lord placed in your life so you can encourage him/her in his/her pain or loss? How prepared are you for death? How do the following verses encourage you?
Hebrew 9:27-28, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
John 11:26, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Do you think death is a passing to eternal life? For believers, death is the beginning of life in the presence and in the Kingdom of God.
Philippians 3:20, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
You are a citizen of heaven!