Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
When Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on the mountain and he was transfigured, Moses and Elijah appeared in conversation with him. Scripture tells us that Elijah did not die but that he he was taken up, like Enoch in Genesis 5:24. Moses died, and I believe it is Jude who tells us that the devil and arch angel Michael argued over his body.
The appearances of Elijah and Moses with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration speak loudly to me about life after this life. Or should I say, our eternal life continues through the passage of death. Death is a doorway into another experience, a more sense-full experience. For those in Christ, it’ll be pure joy of the senses and soul, for those outside of Christ, it’ll be torment.
After thinking about the Transfiguration, I was thinking of my Abuelita (whom I love(d) dearly and who I wish were incarnate), who died just shy of her 89th birthday in 2004 and of my father-in-law, Paul, who died at 55 years old in 2002 due to liver cancer. I wonder if they remember me as I remember them? I think they do. I don’t think God wipes out memories post-mortum.
I relish the thought of their rememberances of me. I wonder if they are aware of our fond thoughts for them? Probably. As far as I can discern, Abuelita and Paul were both in Christ. Their absence takes something away from our lives; our lives were richer and more joy-filled because of their presence. Yet, memories of them nourish me. Right now, that’s all I have. Memories of the departed. And when my family passes away in the next 50 years or so, it’ll be as if Abuelita and Paul never existed because no one will remember them. The same is probably true about me. Once those who knew me walk through the threshold of death, will the memory of my existence be wiped from the face of the earth?
Whatever the answer, I thank God that we outlive the memories of those who outlive us. Although in this life we are a passing breeze that does not return, our memories of life and loved ones will continue and we will still live once we cross the passageway of death.
I do look forward to my reunion with Abuelita and Paul and all my loved ones in Christ…and all the saints I have yet to meet. My most earnest hope and prayer is that those who are not yet in Christ will be awakened from the dead so that they too might live.