While so many are dying every day, it takes a special person’s demise to make the news headlines. That’s certainly true of Dame Vera Lynn, the Forces’ Sweetheart. Born in Essex in 1917 she passed away last week at the age of 103. She was a singer who, during World War 2, performed in concerts in India, Burma, and Egypt, best known for the songs The White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again. She did so much for the morale of soldiers who were willing to sacrifice their lives for their country, and they loved her. People still do. Singer Katherine Jenkins, the modern day Forces’ Sweetheart said of her, “I simply cannot find the words to explain just how much I adored this wonderful lady. Her voice brought comfort to millions in their darkest hours, her songs filled the nation’s hearts with hope, and her emotive performances, whether home or abroad, then or now, helped to get us through.”
When Jesus died, it was barely noticed. Israel was a small, outlying part of the Roman Empire, not highly regarded, and its people of no great consequence. Jesus wouldn’t have been heard of in Rome at the time, and to the provincial Roman authorities he was considered a trouble maker at best, and a lunatic at worst. Here was a crucified man, claiming to be the Son of God, offering a way to God through himself, and promising eternal life. He does sound like a lunatic, doesn’t he? Unless, of course, he was speaking the truth. Each of us has to make up our own mind, but I’m among the billions who believe he spoke the truth. I firmly believe that Jesus is the Son of God. He said of himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”(1), so I also believe he is the way to God, the only way. As for eternal life, that’s mine. One of the most famous verses in the Bible says,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(2)
I have believed in God’s Son, Jesus, and I know that I have eternal life.
Jesus once made a wonderful promise to his followers. He said this to them,
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”(3)
This has been the joy of Christians ever since. We know that Jesus is coming back and is going to take us to be with him for ever. We have a wonderful future ahead of us. I’m sure that some reading this will think I’m crazy, but I believe in a crucified Saviour, so what do you expect? No, I’m not crazy. This is real. Jesus is returning and I, with all other Christians, am going to spend eternity with him.
When Jesus returned to heaven, his disciples watched him go. As they did so, this happened:
“They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”(4)
What a wonderful word from the angels. Jesus is coming back! Do you know, if the song had been around in those days, the disciples could well have sung, “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when. But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day”
(1) John 14:6
(2) John 3:16
(3) John 14:2-3
(4) Acts 1:9-11