Speaker: Tim Bollinger
Scripture: Genesis 22:20-22; Genesis 23:1-20

From the series Part 3

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Genesis Part 3 Reading Plan Download
Genesis Part 3 Dig Deeper Questions Download

Full Sermon Transcript

Once again, we’re so glad that you’re here. And if you’re new to Shepard’s game, maybe this is your first time here or first time joining us in online. We have been in a series of messages this year out of the Book of Genesis. And one of the things that we do as a church is we will pick certain books of the Bible and we will go by chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and we’ll read a portion of scripture and then we’ll say, okay, God, what is it that you’re speaking to us from these verses? And part of that commitment is that we would read every single word that is in the book of the Bible, which is why you heard part of a genealogy there at the beginning. I always love genealogies because you always get to hear these really cool names that you never get to hear anywhere else. And so those of you that are with child, I always encourage you there’s some really I mean, it’s cool to have cool names.

Did you guys all see the name Buzz? I mean, that’s why it’s so. So before there was a Buzz Lightyear, there was a buzz 4000 years ago in the Old Testament, which I just think is super cool. So if you are new, my name’s Tim. I get to the verge of being the lead pastor, and we’ve made it all the way up to Genesis 23 today, and we’ve basically been on this journey. It’s going to take us two and a half years to actually get through all of Genesis because there’s 50 chapters in Genesis. Part of the way we do things as well. If you’re new is you will hear members of the congregation responding to me while I’m preaching. So that’s perfectly normal here at Heaven’s Gate. So I just want you to be caught off. Are alarmed by that because I’m going to start with a very simple question. I’m hoping that all of you can answer this question to get things rolling here.

So here’s here’s kind of the question. The statement that I need you to answer for me is that the church exists to connect people to who, to God. And we know God to be who who does he come in the form of Jesus? And you’re not here by surprise, you know that You’re in a church, you’re watching online. You know that that’s what churches do. They talk about God, they talk about Jesus. They talk about the Holy Spirit, the one true God in three persons, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. And so obviously, a big part of that is connecting people to Jesus. We want people to know who Jesus is, why he came to this earth, why he died on the cross, why he rose again. And isn’t it interesting that just a few weeks from now we will be celebrating Easter, But really for the life of the Believer, every single Sunday is Easter Sunday. Did you know that every single Sunday we get to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and be reminded that one day He will return?

And part of this is to really, honestly help us understand as we go about our week and all the things that we have to keep ourselves busy with. Reason we come to church is to help lift our heads up in our eyes up, and to give us an eternal perspective. And so every Bible believing Bible teaching church should be pointing you to Jesus and helping you understand that you are an eternal being, that life on this earth is actually temporary and it’s sure. And eternity is a really, really, really long time. And so often we get caught up in the things of this world. We get caught up with the concerns and the worries and even some of the grief that we experience. And yet God has a way of coming alongside of us and again lifting our chins up and reminding us of who he is and what it is that he’s already done for us and what he will continue to do for us. Amen. One of the best verses for this is found in Psalm 139.

I love the whole chapter of 139, but you get to the 16th version. It kind of summarizes this whole idea because it says this your I saw my unformed body. So we know and believe from Scripture, not just this one, but all over the Bible that God knows us. He’s the one that wove us together in our mother’s womb. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are made in the image of God. Our lives are precious to him. And not only does he know us from the moment we are conceived, he knows the last day we will spend on this earth. Did you know that? Look at what it says. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Whether you like it or not, God knows when you will breathe your last breath. God knows exactly how many days you have left on this planet. Now, wouldn’t it be nice if you just told us? No, Nobody wants to know. Don’t you think you could prepare better if you knew you got like a week, a month, a year? 50 year.

Wow. I’m surprised by that. Maybe that’s just me. So here is where I want to go with this, because as a church, not only do we connect you to Jesus, we connect you to eternity. And that’s why it shepherds get you see a whole lot of baptisms because we believe God is at work in the waters of baptism. That’s how he claims us as his own. He puts his stamp upon our lives. But you’re not going to be surprised that churches do a lot of funerals. In fact, our practice here at church is we never say no to a funeral. And the reason is we believe it’s one of the incredible opportunities to share the hope that you can have in Jesus in some of the most difficult times in a person or a family’s life. And that’s what you’re going to see in Genesis chapter 23. And so let’s look at what it says in the first verse.

It said, Sarah lived to be 127 years old, and then she was Anybody want to live to 127 years old? there are a couple of you. There’s a couple at the first service to if she’s 127 years old, how old is Abraham? Those of you that have been with us the last several weeks, those of you that have been paying attention, remember, Isaac was born. Abraham was 100. Sarah was. boy. We got work to do. 90. The difference is ten years. So she’s if she’s 127, How old are Abraham? Now, I want you to think about this. He’s ten years older than her. Wouldn’t we assume that he should die first? Why is she dying before him? Why is that happening? I missed it. Sorry. She worked harder. Okay, I got it. That time for those timelines. That was the that came through. But think about. That’s not normal, is it? Usually the man dies before the woman. And those of you that are married, you’re in relationships.

You know this. You have talk, you’ve had this conversation. Everybody, everyone in here. It’s been a relationship. You’ve had this conversation of I hope that I die first or I hope that I die first. In fact, go ahead and raise your hand if you’ve had that conversation with your loved one. Now, some of us, we purposely try to make sure this happens. And so for me, I married a woman that’s six years younger than me. Okay. So statistically, I should die before her, correct? In fact, right when we were getting married, we were going through this thing called financial Peace with Dave Ramsey. And there was these boxes that we had a check and we wanted to make sure we had our financial house in order before before we were married. And one of the things that he encourages is term life insurance.

And I remember because we went to this guy that my brother recommended, and we’re sitting across the table from them and we said we’d like to get two life insurance policies. And you said, well, you don’t need a life insurance policy on her, because if she passes way before you, you can still be the breadwinner. And I just thought that was odd. What insurance agent tries to talk you out of buying an insurance policy? So we left and went to another guy. He was glad to sell us two insurance policies because you just don’t know. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, are we? Nobody knows what’s going to happen, but look at what it says. It said Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her again.

Those of you that know the life of Abraham and all that they’ve been through in their marriage up to this point, I mean, this is a guy that tried to give his wife away not once but twice to other men, only to have God intervene and to bring her back And all the places that they’ve traveled, all the times that they’ve done well and all the times that they disobeyed God in here, she passes away and he is not only mourning, he is weeping for her. In fact, this is the first time in Scripture that we find somebody mourning and weeping, so much so that he rolls from beside his dead wife. And those of you that have been at the bedside of your loved one, those of you that that have experienced that, where you have watched your loved one pass from this life into the next, as you watched their soul leave their body and they breathed their last breath. This is Abraham in this moment.

And he says, I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here. So I can bury my dad. So in his grief, in his grief, he wants to make sure that his wife is respected. He wants to make sure that he finds an incredible place to lay her to rest. Well, the Hittites, who are the ones that own the land at the time, replied to Abraham, Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. I mean, they knew that he had a connection with God. They knew there was something special about him. Bury your dead and the choices of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead. Now, doesn’t that sound like a nice gesture? Does it seem like all of a sudden you think the Hittites are actually being really nice people? I mean, it’s their land.

He’s not even supposed to be on it. He’s living in tents. He doesn’t even have a permanent dwelling place. And here they come and they make this announcement. Yeah, Pick whatever place you want. Of course, we want to be able to honor you as you honor your loved one. What’s interesting, though, is if you dig into these passages, if you dig into these verses, and here he is, he’s out in this public square having to to make this debate in this kind of exchange and trying to figure out this land that he can buy. What you find out is that he actually was not given this land for cheap. In fact, this was just kind of rhetoric that they were pulling him into. And in fact, he ended up paying top dollar for the land. And that’s why it cost 400 shekels of silver. So much so that in the text it tells you that he just wanted to buy the cave that was in the corner of the property.

And the reason is, is that if you bought a huge piece of property, you are now responsible for that big piece of property and you had to pay taxes on it. And so here you have a guy who is mourning and even in death, all of the things that he had to go through to bury his wife. And it is an interesting here we are 4000 years later, when someone passes away, how much work you have to go through, how tedious the process actually is  when someone passes away. And so that’s why it says in this text that he gets this field, he buys the field, he buys the cave, he has all the trees within the border of this area, and it is literally deeded to him. But again, make no mistake, it was not an easy process for Abraham. Again, we see over and over again the struggles that God allowed Abraham to go through with his earthly life says this, that afterwards Abraham buried his wife, Sarah, in the cave in the place that they had agreed.

Now, I want to rewind to you for you back to August of last year, because August and September time is really the time that we as a preaching team right now, the focus of our messages here at Shepherds Gate. And so, Ben, as you know, is our other preacher here. And so he and I will be in a conference room and we’ll have our Bibles and our commentaries and some other resources. And we will read the text and we will read the text and we will read the text and we will say, because we’re committed to going through Genesis and we’re now up to 19 verses, okay, God, what is it that you were speaking in this text and I want to take you back there for a moment, because now that you know this story and you look at this text, what is it that God is telling us in 19 verses in Genesis, as Sara passes away and he buries Sarah, what’s the lesson for us? Why do you need to know this?

And what’s so intriguing is we were kind of struggling and we’re like, let’s just go to the next chapter and look what’s next, or What did we do last week and what’s the text there? And not wanting to ever skip over any portion of Scripture. What ended up bubbling up in our time together is, you know, it’s interesting because we talk a whole lot about widows in churches. And if you don’t know what a widow is, a widow is a woman who has lost a spouse by death and is not remarried. Here’s the crazy part. Churches never talk about widowers. When was the last time you heard a sermon on a widower? What was the last time you thought about a widower? Unless you have someone in your life that’s a widow. Her. And so we said, Hey, maybe we’re on to something here. Maybe this is something we should mind into a little bit more. And so we went to our Bibles and we found out that there’s 80 scriptures about widows all throughout the Old Testament, into the New Testament, into Actes, into the Epistles that Paul wrote all sorts of scriptures of how to take care of widows.

And of course, we should do that. This church does that. We have an incredible widows ministry and we have two widows that head it up and they go and they they have events that they do together. When we do our annual step out and serve in June, where we go out and serve the community, those that are on the planning team specifically contact our widows and they ask them, is there anything you need done at your home? Is there anything inside or outside your house that we can come and be a blessing to you? We check in on them, we ask them how they are doing, but then again, we never really think about the widowers. How many scriptures do you think there are about widowers in all of us, in all of all of the Bible? One four and you’re ready for this? This is fascinating. They’re all in the Book of Genesis. You remember a lot. She disobeyed God.

She turned around and looked at Sodom and Gomorrah, turned into a pillar of salt. Light instantly became a widow or that’s one way to lose a spouse, is it? You just heard about Abraham. There’s two Jacob, which we’re going to look at this fall. He lost his wife while she was giving birth to their son, Benjamin. And as soon as she gave birth, she passed away. Judah, which we’ll look at in 2025. She all of a sudden, when you read the pages of Scripture, it becomes really, really real. Then we said, Well, let’s look at it as far as our church. And we found out there’s actually 92 widows that are connected in some way, shape or form to Shepherds Gate Church, whether they’re members, their faithful friends, they go to our care groups or they go to our women’s Bible studies that we have record of 92. Well, I thought that’s a big group of people. And again, we love them, we honor them.

We’re here for them. We’re going to do everything we can for them. How many widowers do you think we have here that are connected to Shepherds Gate 20? And so it got us thinking maybe we should gather our widowers together. And we had a luncheon last month where I was able to sit down with nine other men who are willing to come to this luncheon. And the first thing that I said to them was this I am sorry that we have never recognized you. I’m sorry that we never even talk about what it is that you have gone through. I’m sorry that we’ve never even asked or checked in to ask how you’re doing and how we can come alongside you in your grieving process. And what was interesting as they begin to share their stories and we had them go around the room and to share when they lost their spouse and how they lost their spouse and how they’re doing now with the grief that they’re carrying.

I asked them also if you could say something to our church, if I could be your mouthpiece, and I could say, here’s what it is that you are going through, what is it that you would want me to communicate about your specific grief as a widower? And these are the statements that they made. Stop saying time heals all wounds. They don’t want to hear that anymore because it doesn’t. And this is them. They said God is only the one who can heal all wounds. There is actually no timetable for grief. Did you know that you cannot say to somebody, It’ll get better. Give it another month, give it another year, give it another ten years. It may never get better because everyone processes grief differently. How about this? It’s okay for men to cry. Wow, it’s really quiet in here on that one. We’ve been trained as a society that what men aren’t allowed to cry. We just read that. Abraham, I mean, he’s the father of all nations, was bawling his eyes out when his wife passed away.

They said, when the tears may stop, it doesn’t mean the grieving process has stopped. Make no mistake, they are human beings with souls and feelings and emotions and that there is no grief like losing a spouse. In fact, you’ll always carry your spouse in your heart, even if you go and get remarried. Even if you go and live for a long time after your spouse passes away. And I didn’t want you to hear from just me this morning. In fact, I asked one of our widowers that I believe many of you know because he’s one of our ushers here at Shepherds Gate. In fact, every single Sunday he ushers. He’s never back, not back by the door. How many of you, you know, Bruce de Sousa, if you don’t, you’re about to meet them in a moment. Hi, I’m Bruce, and I’m a care coach here at Shepherds Gate. And also an usher probably see me most Sunday mornings. And I’m here to speak to you about widowers as I became a widower.

June 28, 2015, my wife and I got married at a very young age, so we were high school sweethearts in 1977, and we were together for 40 years, married for 38, but she passed away. And I it was really, really tough. When you lose someone, especially your spouse, it’s an ongoing process. It’s been eight and a half years for me, but yet I still go through bouts of grief and crying at times the loneliness. Sometimes there are many triggers and then will trigger your emotions as you go through your journey. Songs that you hear, movies that you see, that you used to watch with your wife. how these other deaths, weddings, grandchildren being born and you’re constantly, you know, your wife was there. And it’s tough. I remember. When I first lost her, and you have a lot of family and friends support you in the beginning. You know, they all want to make sure you’re okay. They’re calling you constantly asking me to come over. and it’s really great. But after you know, several weeks or whatever, they have a lot of lives to get back to two.

And so now you’re in a reality of facing life on your own and I used to come home from work and realize how lonely it is. So I compensated by working even more hours to try not to be alone and not coming home to an empty house. And I did that for a couple of years and then I realized that wasn’t working. Then one day I was driving by on 23 and I saw Shepherds Game and I didn’t I’m going to try this. And then I came in one Sunday, and then I found out that we had a care program here, and a friend of mine here said, Hey, you got to take the class and it’ll help you. So I did. And it was tremendous. It was something that I needed because I was numb, because the first year when you go through grief, you kind of just in a daze. You don’t want to accept it. Then the second year reality hits and it hits you even harder. So when I went through the care group, they helped me realize what I need to do to get through that.

And now that’s what I try to help people into. Grief isn’t an overwhelming emotion. They can stop you in your tracks at any moment, anytime, anywhere, without warning, learning how to cope with the grief is a long process and it’s a different process for each person. Everybody takes different amount time with you, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear in a month or two or a year, even six years a year. It takes time. But God will be with you the whole way through your process. You know, as men, we kind of feel that we can’t show our emotions. We can’t let ourselves be vulnerable. We can’t cry and we can’t ask for help. And it’s so far from the truth because even the Lord says, you know, any time that we need anything, we can ask him, he’s going to be there for it. So don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. So just so we’re here to help you out. I’m here to help you out. Isn’t that incredible?

He loses his spouse, he drives by our church. He gives our church a chance, ends up going to the grief share class that we have here and now, all these years later, he now serves in our care ministry and he’s one of our coaches. So he facilitates specifically the grieve share class and walks alongside others who have lost loved ones. What a gift he is that God brought to us here at Shepherds gave him an amen. And here’s what you need to hear this morning. Okay? Whether this is your first time here, whether you believe in Jesus or not, this scripture is so important in first Thessalonians. And it was written by Paul. So so God inspired Paul to write this. And as he’s writing this letter to this church, he’s actually answering their questions. And so they were submitting questions to him. And these are the responses that he’s giving. And of course, they’re asking him questions about what happens when a person dies. That’s the great mystery. That’s what so many people want to know.

Well, what really, truly happens when a person dies and he says these words, Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed like we want you to know what happens about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who has no hope. Do you see it in this verse? That’s the difference. If you know Jesus, then he has produce faith and your heart and your life. That doesn’t mean that you do not grieve. We as believers in Jesus still grieve, and the reason we do is because of the beginning of Genesis. The death is unnatural. We were never supposed to die when God created the first man and woman, Adam, and even put him in the garden. He did not have a plan for them to die. But because they said they brought sin into the world and that started the countdown for their lives and every human being that has lived ever since, that is why death is so difficult. It’s contrary to the plan that God actually instituted for each and every one of us.

And it’s not that you don’t grieve, it’s that we don’t grieve with people that do not have hope, because this is the beautiful message. This is the gospel. That’s the law part. This is the gospel that Jesus knew that he would have to come to this earth, that he’s the one that would have to live in human body and go through all of the human experiences that you and I experience, including what it means to lose people. He knows our grief. He took our our sorrows upon his shoulders when he was nailed to a cross. And he said, I did this because I love you and I want to be in a relationship with you and I want to restore what was lost in the dark in the garden. And that’s why three days later, he took that bold first step out of an empty tomb. And when he did it, he declared victory over sin and the devil and death so that we could be with him for all eternity. That is the hope that we hold on to. That is the hope today. You can have as well as you receive this message, the simple gospel message.

And God brings you close to him and He tells you how much you are loved and valued by him. See, being in the position that I’m in, being a position that Ben is in, and our other staff here at the Shepherd’s Gate, one of the questions that we often get asked is, does it get any easier? People say, I don’t know how you do it, because certainly you’re you’re at people’s bedsides before they pass away. You’re in people’s homes with their loved ones. You conduct funeral after funeral after funeral, you walk through some of the darkest moments of people’s lives together and I can tell you this, it does not get easier. It is never gotten easier. Every single funeral that we have done affects us emotionally and affects us physically. And you know why? Because we are human beings as well. We’re just the ones that God picked to be the the instruments, the mouthpiece to declare the gospel. When we’re given an opportunity to do that and to provide hope and point people to Scripture and to point people to Jesus in eternity, I want to take you back to 2009, which was the year after my wife and I got married. We bought our first house together.

And you guys bought houses. You know what an exciting time that is. And you know, when people buy houses, they don’t really go and knock around at the other doors and vet the neighbors. Right? Nobody does that. Is anyone ever done that in to make sure that you actually like your neighbors before you move into the neighborhood and you think about it every time you move into a house, you’re taking a huge risk, especially in a subdivision. So we move into this house and we meet our neighbors across the street and we begin a relationship with them that we had no idea where God would take it. In fact, a short time later, the next year, Lisa got pregnant and we had our first child. And at this time, both of our parents, So Henry, who’s our oldest grandparents, didn’t live by us and we became incredible friends with these people because they became so close to us and they walked through life with us and you know how sometimes God puts people in your lives, friends that become more like family than friends? Anybody ever have that?

So much so that when our next child came around their daughter, who was a teenager at the time, she would babysit our kids. And my wife, like many women, like all women, they’re just very protective of their babies. And really, she wouldn’t let too many people babysit our kids. But she would let this teenage girl, Caitlin, babysit our kids because she knew her mom was across the street. What’s so cool is, is how much time we would spend actually in their garage. We’d have the baby monitors in our hands and we would go over and we would sit in chairs in their garage, which would face our house, which was still in range of the baby monitors. And we would just talk about life. We’d talk about kids, and they would pour their life into us. And then what happens is life happens and you get the diagnosis. You find out that she was diagnosed with cancer and you’re like, wait a second, why is she having why is she being diagnosed with cancer?

What is going on here? This can’t be true. This is something that’s so important to us. And I remember Lisa and I in our house saying, God, what is going on here? How can we come alongside them as they have come alongside us so many times and have been there for us and our boys? We began to pray with them. We begin to ask, what is it that we can do? Do you need us to mow the lawn? You used to do this and you say you do two appointments because those of you that have walked that journey with cancer, you know how awful it is. And your whole life comes to a screeching halt and all of a sudden you’re just making appointment after appointment, after appointment after appointment, doctor after doctor after doctor, specialist after special, special treatment after treatment after treatment. And when it came back that she had stage four cancer and that her time on this earth was going to be cut short a week in and week out. How you doing? How are things going? How is this treatment going? How are you feeling today?

And I will never forget this because I got the call on a Tuesday morning on a warm, sunny July day. Caitlin, who at this time had graduated high school and she was engaged to her fiancée and she had already planned to be married. The following May she asked me if I would be willing to officiate her wedding, which I was more than honored to do that for them and see they had thought that their mom was going to make it to that next year. And she called me Tuesday morning and she said, Tim, I have a request for you. And I know this is probably going to be an odd request. You’ve probably never gotten this request before, and certainly you can say no. But we just found out that my mom’s not going to make it through the week. Is there any way that you would come to our house and that you would marry me and my fiancee, Austin, so that my mom can witness my wedding? Here’s what’s so incredible about the state of Michigan. Do you know you can get married really, really quick?

I don’t know if you know that divorce drags on for months and months and months and it’s really expensive getting married. All you need is one person with a driver’s license and $25 to the so the county. And then you just got to find a minister. But I was like, Kaitlyn, I think we can do this. I think we can do this, go get the marriage license. And so we set her wedding on Friday at 12 noon, and my wife and I walked across the street, my wife, who’s a hairdresser, dolled up all the ladies, this was just their immediate family. And they wanted to keep this thing a secret. They didn’t want to tell anybody outside of this little small circle. And on Friday at 12 noon, I got to stand before them and preside over their wedding so that their mom could witness it. On Saturday morning, I returned back to the house and that was to read Scripture and to pray and to pretty much give a final blessing over her life.

You see, her desire was she wanted to pass away up north at their summer cottage. And so on Sunday morning, they got in their car and they drove up north. And God honored her wish. And on Monday morning, she passed away. But then here you go. Months later, it’s May. It’s the new year. Everyone’s dealt with the loss and the grief or so you think. And we had this beautiful wedding ceremony outside of Partridge Creek. It was a perfect day. And everybody after the wedding ceremony went into the banquet hall and everybody was just so excited and just ready to eat incredible food and to celebrate in Austin. And Caitlyn grabbed the microphone and they said, We need everyone to sit down because we have something that we have been keeping from you. We have a secret that we need to share with you. And I have never seen a wedding banquet hall get quieter in my entire life. And I said, we want to show you something. We need you to know something. And they showed them this video. Bless my soul. my soul. Worship is like never before. my. worship. Pure. The song. Goes. You don’t need a song to sing your song. yeah. Why don’t they pass?

And one last bit Let me be. What’s so incredible about the position that I’m in is I actually had another wedding that same day, and so I was able to do their wedding at noon and then 4 hours later for an incredible couple here from Shepherd’s Gate. And you know why? Again, Because eternity hangs in the balance for people. And God is not just called ministers like me. He’s called all of us to come alongside people in the times when they’re celebrating, but also in the times of their grief to pray for each other and encourage each other and support each other. Look at this verse go to which says in Psalm 116, Precious in the sign of the Lord is the death of his saints. That seem kind of odd. Why would it be precious in God’s sight when people pass away? Kind of two different ways you can look at this. One is this is precious in the sight because God sees us when we pass away and he knows that there’s no more hardship in trials and pain in sin and diagnosis that we have to live with any more, that we are completely freed from all of the cares of the world.

The other   way that you can look at this versus this is that when we do our loved ones, when they close their eyes or we close our eyes in this life, that in a split second, when we open our eyes, who is it that we get to see first and foremost Jesus and imagine how exciting that moment has been for our loved ones and imagine how exciting that moment will be for each and every one of us through faith in Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus said when He was mourning with two sisters, Mary and Martha. He said these words I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though he die and whoever lives and believes in me. But what never die. It’s so incredible. Here he is with two sisters mourning the loss of their brother Lazarus, and Jesus comes alongside them and says, No, no, no. Looking at it from an earthly perspective, you think that this person’s in the ground and in the grave and that that’s the rest of their history? That’s not actually what’s accurate.

He gives them an eternal perspective he gets them to turn their eyes toward him and says, You are looking at the resurrection and the life, and I can cause the resurrection of the life to happen here and now, because this is what my father  has sent me to do. It’s because I love you. I want to connect with you and I want you to spend all eternity with me. Amen.