death is the greatest tragedy of human experience

For the grave cannot praise you, death can not celebrate you: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for your truth. The living, the living, he shall praise you, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known your truth (Isaiah 38:18-19, UKJV)

Tragic events are a powerful reminder that suffering and death are neither to be celebrated or regarded as the way to God. No amount of well meant sentiment can obscure the real truth that death is a tragedy - when our loved ones die we grieve their loss. Any religion or creed that either regards life cheaply or simply as the stopping off point to somewhere else denies the value of the world that God created. Existence, life and being are gifts from God so that we can have a relationship with him now, by knowing him. It is only the living, the living, who can have a relationship with God, who can see the LORD in the land of the living.

Jesus‘ wonderful teaching and example are a continuation of this theme and so offer a real hope both for the present and the future. He raised his friend Lazarus from the dead and gave him back to his grief stricken family demonstrating that he really was the "resurrection and the life" and that if anyone believed on him, though they had died, they would live! He raised the dead and said: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."