“He placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’” (Rev.1:17-18).


Lord Jesus, today I am savoring the image of your right hand resting on John, the aging apostle. By your hand all things were created, and by your hand all things are being sustained (Heb.1:2-3). With your hand you heal lepers and welcome rebels, expel darkness and comfort the grieving, work in all things for our good and rule over the kings of the earth. What a Savior you are, Jesus.

You embraced the nails of your cross more than they held you to it. Because this is true, our gladness will be greater than our sadness as we gather today to bury a dear friend. Just seventeen days ago we planned Bill’s funeral; today we will celebrate your grace-securing, grave-robbing victory over death.

Death isn’t sovereign, you are, Jesus. Sin didn’t triumph, you did. Cancer didn’t “take Bill out,” you took him Home. That’s not our sentimental spin, it’s your supernatural kindness. Death’s keys are in your hand, just like we are—never to be snatched from your grip of grace (John 10:28). Such comfort, peace, and hope can only be found in you.

We will gather today to remember Bill today, but more, to adore you, Jesus. May your beauty be enthralling and your love compelling. Comfort Laurie and the kids, and be exalted in our midst. So Very Amen, we pray.