Your daughter is dead!
(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858)
"While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. 'Your daughter is dead!' he said." Luke 8:49
Let us notice in this verse — how universal is the dominion which death holds over mankind. We see death coming to a rich man's house, and tearing from him the desire of his eyes with a stroke!
Such tidings as these, are the bitterest cups which we have to drink in this world. Nothing cuts so deeply into man's heart — as to part with beloved ones, and lay them in the grave. Few griefs are so crushing and heavy — as the grief of a parent over the death of an only child.
Death is indeed a cruel enemy! He makes no distinction in his attacks. He comes to the rich man's mansion — as well as to the poor man's cottage. He does not spare the young, the strong, and the beautiful — any more than the old, the infirm, and the grey-haired. Not all the gold of Australia, nor all the skill of doctors — can keep the hand of death from our bodies, in the day of his power. When the appointed hour comes, and God permits him to smite — then our worldly schemes must be broken off, and our darlings must be taken away and buried out of our sight.
These thoughts are melancholy, and few like to hear of them. The subject of death is one that men shut their eyes at, and refuse to look at. "All men think all men mortal, but themselves!" But why should we treat this great reality in this way? Why should we not rather look the subject of death in the face, in order that when our turn comes — we may be prepared to die?
Death will come to our houses, whether we like it or not. Death will take each of us away — despite our dislike to hearing about it. Surely it is the part of a wise man to get ready for this great change.
Why should we not be ready? There is one who can deliver us from the fear of death. Christ has overcome death, and "brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." He who believes on Him, has everlasting life. Though he dies — yet shall he live.
Let us believe in the Lord Jesus — and then death will lose his sting. We shall then be able to say with Paul, "To me, to die is gain!" Philippians 1:21
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We have published J.R. Miller's very insightful 2 page article, "Post-mortem Love".