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Leo Carone

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Funeral message for Leo Carone

Notes & Transcripts
As we sit here in this place today, there are a myriad of feelings and emotions that are being experienced by everyone
There is sorrow and confusion and perhaps even anger over the death of Leo, there is disbelief and emptiness at our loss and perhaps even some anxiety as we are forced by this service to consider our own mortality
What could one person possibly say that bring comfort in the midst of this, that would answer questions that have been asked for thousands of years
I have to be honest with you, I don’t have those words of comfort, I don’t have the answers to those questions,
But I do know where to find it, in God’s Word!
The Apostle Paul wrote to a group of people that were going through an extremely rough time time and he reminded them of this:
2 Corinthians 1:3–5 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:
Leo was a special guy which is why you are here today because in one way or another he made a positive impact on you and your life…enough for you to take time out of your busy schedule to be here
But there’s no point in denying that Leo also had a past, a past that he wasn’t proud of, a past that often haunted him and a past for which he was trying to atone for in the best way he knew how
It was that past that brought him to a point several years ago where he knew that he couldn’t deal with it on his own any more and so one day while out riding his motorcycle he reached out to the only one who could help, he reached out to Jesus
In fact I understand that there is a large painting Leo did that depicts this life changing moment
Now you might think that the holy Son of God might turn away from someone with a sorted past but actually just the opposite happened and Jesus reached back and that’s when something happened in Leo’s life
Paul describes it this way a little later in that same letter we just read from
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
And as a result of becoming this “new creation” the Bible says,
Romans 8:1–2 NIV
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
While it’s true that Leo still struggled with guilt and shame over his former life, in God he stood free of condemnation and so when it came to the end of his life he had no fear of what was to come next, he was confident in his destination and that the one to whom he had trusted his life would be there waiting for him
In the book of Revelation is recorded the Apostle John’s vision of Heaven, during that time he encountered Jesus, the Son of God and he wrote,
Revelation 1:17–18 NIV
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Revelation 1:17–19 NIV
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.
Revelation 1:17 NIV
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
Revelation 1:17–18 NIV
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Nothing is feared more than the unknown and of course nothing is more unknown than death but in His words to John Jesus offers us a peace and a hope that Leo had grabbed a hold of
Revelation
Revelation
Nothing is feared more than the unknown and of course nothing is more unknown than death but in His words to John Jesus offers us a peace and a hope that Leo had grabbed a hold of
The original wording is actually very graphic and forceful and our English language just doesn’t do it justice, Jesus actually said, ‘stop being afraid, I became dead’
Just this past weekend we celebrated Easter, the annual remembrance of when the God-man Jesus was crucified unto death and then laid in a borrowed tomb
But the best part of that story is that Jesus didn’t stay in that tomb, 3 days later He rose from the dead to live forever
Jesus has experienced all that death can do and so He has the experience to tell us today that there is nothing in it to fear,
He has taken away the aspect of the unknown from death for us and so we have nothing to fear from it
On the day that Jesus rose from the dead, He CONQUERED death, He beat it, He not only beat it but the Bible says that He destroyed it meaning that if we put our trust in Him, death can no longer hurt us either
Oh it may be able to take this mortal body that we now have, but it can’t hold onto us because through Jesus we are promised eternal life
There’s a story in the Bible about a close personal friend of Jesus who got very sick and died
4 days later when Jesus arrived the sister of this man kind of let into Jesus a little bit pointing out that with all the miracles He had done surely He could have prevented her brother from dying
John 11:25 NIV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
John
Inevitably during a funeral service each and everyone of us is forced to consider our own mortality, that one day it will be me lying there
Maybe you have made your peace with that but maybe you’re concerned because there’s things in your past that you are not proud of, things that, like Leo, you wrestle with
Or maybe you’re concerned because of all the unknown aspect of death and what lies beyond
All I can tell you today is to try what Leo tried, reach out to Jesus and in Him you will find the peace that you are looking for.
Would you pray with me again?
Dear heavenly Father, we gather here today to remember and to celebrate the precious life of Leo. We also gather to say goodbye one last time and celebrate the life that he enjoyed here on earth and thank you for each moment and memory that we have had with him. We pray that your peace and presence will be upon those gathered here during this time and we pray this in the name your Son, Jesus Amen.
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