Taking a Walk Down Cemetery Lane – A Reminder of the Death of Death

I walked around a cemetery the other day with my youngest daughter. The graveyard we walked in sits adjacent to my home church. That church is a place where I spent much of my life until I left home for college. It’s the church where I was married. Where my mom and sister were married. The church where my daddy’s and grandmother’s funerals were held. 

My daughter had never been to this place that has held so much significance in my life, and because she’s mine, it holds significance in hers too. This walk reminded me of family, faithfulness, sin, heritage, and the blessing of passing on the gospel message. But, primarily, that cemetery walk was a reminder of grace. 

As we walked through the cemetery, there were some significant markers that I wanted to show her. Graves of my daddy, grandmother, grandfather, great grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and countless other cousins and distant relatives that I don’t even know about. My family (on my mother’s side) moved into the area during the Civil War. The first grave is a young boy killed in a fire during the Civil War. His last name, Shoemaker, is my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. So, the first grave in the cemetery is that of a distant relative of mine on my grandmother’s side.

As we walked, we talked. 

I wish I could say that all of the family I know who are buried there had been solid, faithful followers of Christ. Upright people. Good citizens. That would be a nice clean heritage. But I know that’s not true. Life is messy. People are sinners, rebellious even. But unfortunately, some of our family histories paint anything but a pretty picture. Some stories are downright awful and tragic.

But plenty of stories also provide glimpses of God’s faithfulness. Of His amazing grace. So, as I walked around with my daughter, pointing out family members, I recounted some of those stories to her. Both good and bad. Faithful and rebellious. But what struck me was how I could trace God’s hand through the generations. His faithfulness. His grace. 

I thought of how faithfulness is honored there, and stories of faith in the Lord Jesus and His power to save sinners are found in that cemetery. It was there in the stories that flooded my mind; stories passed down to me from my mom and grandmother. It was there in the headstones and foot markers written in stone. It was there in the graves that hold dry bones that will again rise up with flesh and beating hearts, never to perish again. 

I’m so glad that I had a chance to share this place with my youngest daughter. A cemetery and death is a reminder of sin in the world. It’s a reminder of the fall of man. We all have to face death. We all grieve and have loved ones we miss and long to see again. 

But for Christians, a cemetery is also oddly a place of abounding hope, for we know that dry bones will rise and become alive again one day. We know that the Lord Jesus will come back, and with One command from His mouth, all the dead in Christ will rise. We understand that a life lived in faithfulness to Him is a life well lived. We know that death is not the ultimate victor, for Christ has gained victory over it for those that trust in Him! It has been defeated. 

Right now, even though defeated, death is still an enemy. It knocks on the door. It hangs over us as a shadow. But one day, death will no longer exist. It will be completely and utterly destroyed. Annihilated. Nonexistent. And there will be no cemeteries to walk through. 

So take a walk in a cemetery. Right now, it holds death, but for the Christian, it points to a greater reality…the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting. And the complete destruction of that last enemy by the One who holds the Keys. 

Until then, we walk, we talk, tell stories of His faithfulness, and hope for the coming day when that cemetery, and all others, will have a final resurrection chapter in their story: “Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-26

By |April 4th, 2023|Categories: 1 Corinthians, Blog, Featured|

About the Author:

Judi H. Prince is married to pastor David E. Prince, an active member of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, and is a stay-at-home mom of eight children. Her husband, David, is the author of the book In the Arena: The Promise of Sports for Christian Discipleship.