In the quiet morning of March 25, 2013, my father passed away, just a few days before Easter. His health had been getting worse those days, and that morning, he was going to prepare himself for a medical check up on nearby medical center.
But apparently the Lord couldn’t wait any longer to dine with him.
And it really wasn’t a surprise for me. The Bible passage I read that morning was from Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I kept asking what did the passage tell me, even on my way to my office. A phone call from my wife gave me the answer then. We took an afternoon flight to Semarang and got a cab to take us to Jepara, my father’s hometown.
There, in front of my aunt’s house where my father’s body was laid before the burial, I noticed two common marks on his headstone: a star to represent his birth date and a cross for the date of his death. In fact, most of the headstones in the cemetery use those symbols, which I believe, correspond to the birth and death of Christ.
I did feel the agony for his passing away, but the star and the cross the Lord had me to see brought more a relief. It was as if the Lord said to me, “Look at those symbols and be not dismayed, for your father is not dead, just as I am also alive.” In Jesus, we have not only the story of His birth, works, and death, but also of His rising from the dead.
The star and the cross, I believe, are symbols of God’s eternal plan. Most people believe that birth and death are in God’s hands, but they forget to ask, “Why? What’s God’s purpose to let one born at one time and die at another?” I believe, that God has found him faithful to the plan He’d planted in his heart. And I also believe, that it was a time God has appointed him to depart.
We will also depart later, and when I do, my headstone shall bear the marks of star and cross too.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…”~John 11:25~