December 09, 2006

Separation and Healing

Malachi 4:1-6

"The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings." Malachi 4:2


Early one morning I drove by a cemetery and noticed a man standing alone by a gravestone. "Who is he mourning?" I wondered. Was it his wife, a son or daughter, a close friend?

Perhaps you have found yourself standing at the grave of one you loved. If so, you likely experienced a profound sense of loss and separation. We go to visit the graves of people we have loved, but no matter how often we visit, we cannot reach beyond the grave. Our loved ones remain separated from us by death. We are left with hearts that need healing.

In Malachi 4 we read, "The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings." This promise meant that the coming Messiah would bring healing from the effects of sin and the grief that surrounds death in this world. This passage also conveyed a veiled reminder that when the Messiah came he would rise from the dead--and that's just what Jesus did!

Death still robs us today, and until Christ comes again, the grave will continue to separate us from those we love. But there can be healing in our hearts because we have the assurance of life beyond the grave. We have the promise that one day when the Lord of righteousness returns, all who have died in Christ will rise and the grave will lose its power to separate.

Father, thank you for the healing we experience through Jesus Christ, and for the hope we have that one day he will come again, giving us victory over the grave. Amen.

About the author — Joel Sheeres

Rev. Joel Sheeres is the pastor at First Christian Reformed Church in Crown Point, Indiana. He and his wife, Christine, have three children. Pastor Sheeres has previously served at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois.

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