by J.R. Miller
"Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ" 1890
"The beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom." Luke 16:22
Nothing is said about his funeral. Of course, if he had one–it was only a pauper’s funeral. Earth had no honor for the beggar, no splendid coffin, no flowers. But the angels came–and were his bearers and escort to glory!
Notice also, that nothing is said about what became of his body. The body is of little matter, for the man himself–was no longer in that old, worn-out, battered frame. He was soon far away in the realm of eternal glory! When his body was dropped into the ground–the beggar, the real man, was carried away to Heaven! We see him there, no longer a beggar–but enjoying eternal blessedness.
There is still another thought here. We dread death. It seems like the end of existence. But really, to the Christian–death is only a fleeting incident in his life. It is just a moment’s passage through an experience which we never can understand; and then–eternal glory!
One minute, this poor beggar lies at the rich man’s gate–despised, suffering, and starving!
The next moment, a strange sensation passes over him, and all is confusion.
And then he awakes–flying through the air with an angel-escort!
And in a moment–he is inside the celestial city, to dwell forever with the Lord!
There is no break in his life.
Death came also to the rich man. His riches could not save him from death. No doubt he had a splendid funeral. There would be a long procession, many mourners, a luxurious coffin, and every show of honor.
But who would not rather have the beggar’s escort after death–than the finest funeral earth ever gave to a mortal?
There have been funerals of rich men at which there was genuine sorrow, where those who had been blessed by their benevolence came and wept by their coffins. But in this rich man’s case, there were no sincere mourners, for the man had allowed the needy to lie hungry at his gates! He had lived for himself only–and no one really missed him when he was gone. "The rich man also died and was buried. In Hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus in his bosom!" Luke 16:22-23
by J.R. Miller