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Hope in the Face of Death

As a road crash rescue accredited volunteer in SES (State Emergency Service) I (Rick) have attended a number of serious accidents. I have often been amazed at how people have walked away from a total car wreck and yet I have also been amazed at how fragile life can be.

In a world where people die everywhere, everyday, and often in tragic circumstances one wonders what it was about the death of Phil Hughes that has affected so many people in such an extraordinary way.

I think what has touched us the most is the appreciation that death is real and that it can happen at anytime. It just didn’t seem to be his time!

As thousands have shed tears over the death of Phillip, we are reminded that Jesus was affected by death too. John 11:35 says “Jesus wept” at the death of his friend Lazarus. This story captures Jesus’ deep human sorrow surrounding the loss of a loved one.

But Jesus also offers much comfort and hope in the face of tragedy.

While we mourn, the Bible says that death has been defeated because Jesus conquered the grave: “‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

The bodily resurrection of Jesus from death to life shows that physical death is not the end: ” We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

We are also encouraged to make the most of the life we have, on loan from God, for as long as we have it: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

Finally, we are reminded that no matter how great one’s sporting ability or talents might be, it is not eternal: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

As we mourn the loss of Phillip Hughes, we are reminded of our own mortality. But we should also remember the profound eternal hope of an ‘innings without end’ which God offers us through the resurrection of Jesus.

(Adapted from article by Jim Dayhew,