It's been about ten years since my grandmother passed away. My Grandma had been a bright spot in my world. She was faithful to her church and to her God. She was gracious to everyone she came in contact with. She worked harder than any woman I knew at the time, keeping most of my extended family in full supply of home grown green beans, okra, tomatoes and such. Most of all, every time I saw her she would grab my face, look deep into my eyes and say, "I'm so proud of you." For all my growing up years, she was the best reflection of Jesus I knew.
So when she passed away, I knew she was with Jesus.
One of her absolute favorite hymns was The Old Rugged Cross. Naturally, we wanted to include that in her funeral. Well, most of us. Sadly there was one family member who was completely against it. His argument - "We can't talk about the blood or the cross of Jesus at a funeral. That would be too morbid."
His comment left me dumbfounded.
Not talk about the blood or the cross at a funeral? I didn't get it, because everything we are in Jesus, we are because of the cross which He so willingly embraced and the blood He so sacrificially gave. My Grandma was in heaven only because of the cross and the blood shed upon it. Nothing else. Nothing less.
Though it's been ten years, the comment still leaves me a little stunned. How can someone not deeply value the blood of Jesus? His blood is the most priceless commodity in the universe. One drop is enough to purchase back the souls of men and women throughout all human history. It's also the most powerful agent in the universe. One drop of it was all that was needed to bring change in the most difficult place known to man - the human heart. It has power to cleanse the deepest stain. It has power to break the strongest bondage the devil can throw at us.
I'm humbled when I think that Jesus gave His blood as a gift to me...to ME...and all this motivated by the purest love. Some may use the term 'morbid', but to me it's both priceless and beautiful. Some may see it as death, but for me...and for my Grandma...it's life! So I remember the words of the great hymn...
"To that old rugged cross I will ever be true, its shame and reproach gladly bear. Then He'll call me some day to my home far away, where His glory forever I'll share."