Funeral A death that would glorify God
A Death that would glorify God
Music: “My forever friend” (Peter Breen)
Call to worship
Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because He has roused Himself from his holy dwelling.” (Zechariah 2:13-14)
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3)
Eulogy: Hal Bubb
Hymn No 25: “Great is Thy faithfulness”
Bible Reading: Psalm 116
Bible Reading: John 21:19
Peter denied Jesus. The first time Jesus spoke about His own death, Peter had opposed it (Matt. 16:21ff). Peter had even used his sword in the Garden in a futile attempt to protect his Lord. Yet Peter had boasted he would die for the Lord Jesus! But when the pressure was on, Peter failed miserably. (You and I probably would have done worse!) Anyone who yields himself to serve the Lord must honestly confront this matter of death.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:21-22)
Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” (Matthew 26:31-33)
Jesus had just spoken about Peter’s life and ministry, and now He talks about Peter’s death. This must have been a shock to Peter, to have the Lord discuss his death in such an open manner. No doubt Peter was rejoicing that he had been restored to fellowship and apostleship. Why bring up martyrdom? When a person has settled the matter of death, then he is ready to live and to serve!
Our Lord’s words, “Follow Me!” must have brought new joy and love to Peter’s heart. Literally, Jesus said, “Keep on following Me.” Immediately, Peter began to follow Jesus, just as he had done before his great denial. However, for a moment Peter took his eyes off the Lord Jesus, a mistake he had made at least two other times. After that first great catch of fish, Peter took his eyes off his Lord and looked at himself. “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8) When he was walking on the stormy sea with Jesus, Peter looked away from the Lord and began to look at the wind and waves; and immediately he began to sink (Matt. 14:30). It is dangerous to look at the circumstances instead of looking to the Lord.
Earlier that morning, Peter had “girded himself” and hurried to shore to meet Jesus (John 21:7). The day would come when another would take charge of Peter—and kill him (see 2 Peter 1:13–14). Tradition tells us that Peter was indeed crucified, but that he asked to be crucified upside down, because he was not worthy to die exactly as his Master had died.
But Peter’s death would not be a tragedy; it would glorify God! The death of Lazarus glorified God (John 11:4, 40) and so did the death of Jesus (John 12:23ff). Paul’s great concern was that he glorify God, whether by life or by death (Phil. 1:20–21). This should be our desire as well.