Some years ago, I met a remarkable family. Each member of the family had an unshakable testimony of the reality of the Resurrection. Each of the children had been born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. The only daughter, Shanna, was then five years old. All of the children were intelligent and faith-filled.
We visited for a while, and the special spirit of that family filled my office and my heart. Then the parents asked if little Shanna could sing for me. She sang of a brighter future:
On a beautiful day that I dream about
In a world I would love to see,
Is a beautiful place where the sun comes out
And it shines in the sky for me.
On this beautiful winter’s morning,
If my wish could come true somehow,
Then the beautiful day that I dream about
Would be here and now.1
Eventually, Shanna passed away at age 14. At the funeral services, I spoke of the lovely song Shanna sang. I concluded with the thought: “Because our Savior died on Calvary, death has no hold upon any one of us. Shanna lives, whole and well, and for her that beautiful day she sang about is here and now.”
Death is an essential part of our mortal experience. And dead we would remain except for Jesus. He died on the cross. His body was placed by loving hands in a sepulchre.
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, along with others, came to the sepulchre. To their astonishment, the body of their Lord was gone. Two men in shining garments stood by them and said: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5–6).
Our Lord and Savior is the living witness that life is everlasting. God does live. Jesus is His Son. Because He died, all shall live again. “Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives!’”2