Let me tell you something, friends, death comes to us all! Great, small, rich, poor, we all will one day step into eternity, no matter what our standing or circumstances are in this life. As someone once said:
“Death blends the sceptre with the spade
With equal pace, impartial fate
Knocks at the palace, as the cottage gate
Nor crown nor coin can halt time’s flight
Or stay the armies of the night
King and villain, lad and lass,
All answer to the hourglass…”
We read how the rich man died and was buried. Given his wealth and status, the rich man surely had a grande memorial, attended perhaps by a great many mourners, and a proud monument set up over his resting place. Words of remembrance likely praised him and the luxuries with which he accommodated his household. He passed on a remembered man…
Lazarus certainly did not receive such a goodbye. The Scripture tells us nothing of his internment. At best, his wracked body may have been pushed into a shallow hole and covered over unceremoniously. At worst, we could reason that of no one cared enough to stop the dogs from pestering him in his suffering, they may not have saw the need to stop them from gnawing his bones as they mouldered in the street…
As pitiful as his death was, comfort was at hand! We read how the beggar died and was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom.
Now, this was a place of peace and rest. It is called here Abraham’s bosom in the KJV, but other translations may say Abrahams side or Abraham’s embrace.
This was not Heaven as we know it though, many scholars believe, but rather it was traditionally considered the resting place of the righteous dead who came before the death of Christ on the cross. It was a place for the faithful. A place where they would follow in the footsteps of the father of their faith, Abraham.
After a life of torment, how much of a blessing was it for poor Lazarus to be taken to his rest at the hands of angels?
His soul wasn’t asleep!
His candle was not put out!
Everything did not just go dark when he closed his eyes for the last time!
He entered eternity, and was greeted with a dignity and honor and love he never knew in life
As he went, long forgotten was the suffering he endured. Forgotten was his aching belly, empty for so long. Forgotten was his ragged clothes, which barely kept him from shivering on so many cold nights. Forgotten was the terrible looks and hateful sneers of uncaring passers-by. Forgotten were all those bloody, leaking sores.
He had found himself free of the corruption and dishonor and weakness of this life. The natural body was dead and buried but here he stood at his reward, and it was a blessed thing!
In life he never would have been admitted into the halls of the rich man’s mansion, but in death, through his faithfulness to God, he is admitted into mansions far more splendid than even the richest of men could ever imagine! Glory to God, Hallelujah!
He entered unimaginable and enduring peace after a comparatively brief life of torment…
But what of the rich man?
“Hell & the Rich Man” continues next time…
FOUNDRY4 is a proud member of the International Association for Creation