Every week I love sharing a Hebrew word with you. This week I have no words. Kevin, my husband of 23 years, passed away on Friday September 10th, at the age of 50. Things happen in an instant. Life changes in a moment.
But as the writer of the book of Hebrews announced, Jesus the Messiah is the same yesterday and today, and forever (Mark 12:8)… and that carries me forward, because what Yeshua (Jesus) was all about was bringing people to the Kingdom. He pointed them Home.
Death and funerals always bring the question of heaven and eternal life back into the forefront. Will there be life beyond this life? Is there really a heaven? Yeshua announced this:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be.”
The Bible begins in a garden (Genesis 2:8-15) and ends in a garden (Revelation 22:1-5). Human (adam) life (khava) was created in the garden of Eden. It’s where God wanted humans to be… with Him in His Kingdom. But humans foolishly took advantage of the garden’s generosity and tried to be gods of their own making. They couldn’t stay because their greed and pride would be a blight on God’s Space, and so humanity was exiled out of the Garden and into wilderness.
But YHWH wouldn’t leave us stranded. He made a plan to save us.
To redeem us and give us back our eternal life in the garden, YHWH would become the Great Sacrifice. He would offer a part of Himself to die so we could live. That’s the kind of Creator we have. YHWH’s is a God who will do anything to restore our souls and bring us back Home.
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have made a pact. The gushing flood will not reach us when it passes by, because we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”
Therefore this is what the Lord YHWH says:
“Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. The one who believes in it will not be disturbed.
“I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level; then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the secret place.
Your covenant with death will be canceled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand.”
And so Yeshua, the Cornerstone, would anchor us to the Kingdom. His death would nullify our pact with the grave, and pay our entrance fee back into YHWH’s Garden Home. And the wonderful thing about YHWH, is that death can not hold Him down. He is the God of Life and death has no hold on the Creator. Yeshua (Jesus) went to the grave but He would not stay there. He would rise up and go home to His Father.
And now all who follow Him are offered the same reward… to rise from the grave and stand alongside their Creator.
For some of you, this may be hard to believe. And that is okay. God never says, ‘believe everything or forget it’. All God asks of you is to genuinely seek Him:
[YHWH:] “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will let Myself be found by you,” declares YHWH, “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you,” declares YHWH, “and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.”
This is one of those passages that has multiple layers of meaning. It was the time of the Babylonian conquest. The Jewish people had been defeated, driven out of their homes, and dragged to Babylon. But YHWH promised to bring them back from exile. On a grander scale, there was also a bigger promise at play. YHWH would also return us to our original place of exile: the Garden of Eden, YHWH’s Kingdom.
Death is not final; it’s a new, beautiful, beginning. We get to go home to YHWH… we get to walk with Him in the Garden and see His face. It is the epitome of pure peace and it’s at the core of Aaron’s blessing in the Torah:
“YHWH bless you, and keep you.
YHWH cause His face to shine on you, and be gracious to you.
YHWH lift up His face to you, and give you peace.”
If you’re struggling with this, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and remember, it’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to question, it’s okay to say ‘I’m not sure I get it’… But don’t let these things stop you from taking a leap of faith. What do you have to lose, but eternal life itself?
There are many rooms waiting for occupancy in YHWH’s House, and one of them is yours for the taking.
Seek His face, so that when you take your final breath you will enter freely into the Garden, face your Creator, and celebrate your new home in the Kingdom of YHWH. That is where my husband is today.
Live in peace, my husband, my love. Shalom.