The death of the young is grievous. They had so much life ahead of them, so much potential. And there is often regret. What could we have done differently to prevent this? What if….? Martha and Mary both asked the same question when their dear brother, Lazarus, died. Mary blamed Jesus for not being there, saying, “If only you had been here to heal him, this never would have happened.” (John 11:1-44, especially verses 21 and 32)

We may wonder if the premature death came as a punishment. But Jesus assured us otherwise. In Luke 13:2-5, Jesus described the death of several, who died young, and said that those who perished were not worse than those still living. He explained that they were not greater sinners nor more at fault than anyone else who did not suffer the same fate. The timing of our death does not depend on our righteousness. Some good people die young; some old; and likewise for the unrighteous. “For he

[the Father] makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) 

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult parts of life. A part of you seems to die with them.  Jesus understood these feelings exactly. He wept at Lazarus’ death, even though he was about to resurrect him (John 11:33-35). 

God can empathize with us as well, for he endured the death of his only son. However, it was through Jesus’ death that God provided a remedy for the emptiness of the death of mankind.

Sin was introduced through Adam and then passed on to all of his descendants. We are all born sinners. Likewise, Jesus’ sacrifice, which paid for Adam’s sin, is passed on to all his posterity and will bring a resurrection of the dead (1Corinthians 15:22). God promises life again. Death is not a separation that will last forever! It is a sleep.

It is impossible to tell the specific reason why God allows any individual to die young, but we know that He is in control and will help us (Romans 8:28). He won’t give us any experience we are not able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). Remember: God promises to reunite all of us with our loved ones in the resurrection.

Death is still very difficult. Only God’s promises can bring any real comfort or peace in a time of grief. When person dies, their loved ones are often flooded with cards and flowers and tearful hugs of support. These are meant to be a comfort, and many times, they are. However, they will never fill the void left by the loss of the deceased. There is nothing any human can say or do to actually make it better. Their words can mask the empty feelings for a moment, and time can allow us to adapt to new circumstances, but no one can actually make it better. The only words that could possibly be a real comfort are the words of God, found in the scriptures, because they are the only ones that can bring life through their promises.