Funeral Service – Sermon 145

13th February 2011 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thought of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ


‘Thank you for being near at this time of suffering Lord – for without you it would be more than I could bear –

Your comforting presence calms and strengthens me

You provide short periods of relief – and help me regain my bearings and my thoughts-

I don’t see any purpose for my pain Lord-

I want you to remove it – yet it still remains – the tears I shed are beyond measure-

Even though I grieve – I feel your mercy and your love’ –

Words from a devotional thought – by Anita Donihue

Experiencing the death – of someone close – comes to us all – yet its an experience most of us fail to understand – until we walk through it ourselves

point 1     Jesus talks to His disciples


In our reading from John’s Gospel – we hear Jesus explaining to His disciples – what will happen after He dies –

He knew He only has a short time to live- and wanted to provide reassurance – about what lies ahead – for – Him and for them –

He talks to them of the need to trust in God – and to find rest –

‘Set your troubled hearts at rest’ – He says –

‘Trust in God always ’ – trust in me’

In times of suffering – even His own – Jesus offers us a helping hand – that provides hope and above all – love – to those who grieve and mourn –

In Jesus we have someone we can open our hearts and our thoughts to – knowing that He will listen and share our pain –

He also reassures – His disciples – about where He is going –

‘My Father’ House’ He says – which – ‘has many dwelling places – if it were not so – I should not have told you’

Our vision of heaven is sometimes clouded – by what we experience here on earth –

We think of houses with walls – we can imagine large hotels – huge tower blocks -perhaps a city?

But what is certain – is that heaven is a definite place – and that it – has room for us all

Heaven is also a place of restoration – and reunion

‘I will go and prepare a place for you’ – He said – and I shall come and take you there myself’

There are – many doors that shut on us – here on earth – but in heaven we will never be shut out-

‘you know the way I am taking’ –

Jesus is about to embark on a journey – that will involve suffering and death – in less than 24 hours – Jesus will take the burdens of mankind’s sins on His shoulders- and atone for them- once and for all through His life saving death- on the cross-

And through His resurrection – He will provide the route through which others can follow – and join with Him in heaven- with the Father-

Here – He is telling His disciples – that even if they don’t yet understand – why He must die – He must nevertheless – make His journey to the Father- so that His work can be finished – and a place prepared ahead of them in heaven

His words – are about releasing – letting him go – so that when His time comes – they will come to realize that He is not deserting them – but going – so that they too can be with Him –

But Thomas – in character – responds in his usual way – What do you mean – we know the way? – We don’t know where you’re going?

Jesus’ reply is straight to the point – ‘I am the way – if you want to know how to get to the Father’s house – you must come by me’

Jesus knows – that we can’t see the way ahead – and we need to know not only that there is a way into the unknown future – but also that we will be able to find it –

The truth – and the life through which we know and find the way – is Jesus Himself – the Jesus who washed His disciples feet – the Jesus who wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus – The Jesus who was on His way to give His life – as shepherd of His sheep –

God gave us Jesus – so that we – can come to know the way – and so that Jesus can show us the way – And go the way – ahead of us

Jesus journey to the Father has transformed our lives and our earthly ending

Because Jesus lives- we His followers also live

Our hope for the future rests in Jesus who died for our sins – and assures us of salvation – 


Today we are not alone – we meet to share our grief and love – but the greatest love that we have and can share – is the love of God for us –

Like His disciples – if we accept and believe in His promises the Jesus brings – we too will find rest and have a place – and a promise of Glory – in heaven with Him

Prayer to finish

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit