The coffin was draped in authentic cowhide. Longhorns strategically positioned behind it. To the side, boots and a cowboy hat. Gary Sr. worked for the railroad for over twenty years and then for the water department in our area. He was pure country and his children stayed true to these roots.
After a brief biography of Gary’s life, Branden, his grandson read Jesus’ comforting words, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you,” and then Tracy, his niece, read “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but they are declared right before God by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Messiah Jesus.” Then it was my turn.
I tried to take Gary’s family and friends back to the synagogue in Antioch Pisdia and let them hear how Rabbi Saul of Tarsus shared the truth about Jesus with his Jewish people. I picked up the message when Paul turned from Jesus’ death and burial to the resurrection.
“But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who had associated with Him from the beginning of His ministry in Galilee to its climax in Jerusalem. They are now His witnesses to the Jewish people. And we also bring you good news—the promises made to the fathers (the patriarchs of Israel) have happened. God has fulfilled these promises for us, their children. He raised Jesus, as written in the second Psalm, ‘You are my son! Today I have become Your Father.’ Because God raised Jesus from the dead he is no more subject to decay. God has also said, ‘I will give to you the holy and dependable promises given to David,’ and in another place the Jewish Scriptures say, ‘I will not allow your Holy One to see decay.’ (Psalm 16:10)
David, himself, after he had served God’s purpose in his generation, was gathered to his fathers. He died and did experience decay. But God raised Jesus, David’s seed who did not experience decay. Therefore, let it be known to you, men, brothers, that through Jesus forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. All that could never be forgiven under the Law of Moses now can be made right before God. All who believe this can stand right before God.” - Acts 13:30-39
The three proofs Paul presented for the fact that Jesus conquered death:
1. For many days his Galilean associates saw him alive. They give us eye witness testimony that Jesus rose
from the dead.
2. In Psalm 2, King David prophesied that one of his sons would be declared to
be God’s Son, the rightful King of the world. By resurrecting Jesus, God
declared that Jesus is this Man.
3. In Psalm 16, King David prophesied that one of his sons would die, be put
in the grave, but unlike all others, his body would not decay. On the first
Easter morning Jesus fulfilled this prophesy. His body did not decompose on
the shelf in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb.
When I finished, Gary’s family closed their dad’s service with Alan Jackson singing from his Precious Memories album.
“When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow with humble adoration and then proclaim
My God how great thou art.
LORD, this could be the year you send your Son to bring us all home and we will all shout in acclamation. Continue to comfort Gary’s family with the fact of the resurrection and by the power and intercession of Your Son at Your right hand.
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