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Bury me in Caanan

Have you thought about where you want to be buried when you die? If you have, you are among the minority because most people don’t think too much about dying or where they prefer to be buried. Dying, though inevitable, makes most people uncomfortable, so they leave many things undone. Why is that? Why the avoidance when it comes to the topic of death? Fear of death, fear of separation, and fear of the unknown cause us to avoid something unavoidable. Surprisingly many have not made a will or a trust with instructions about their children, property, and assets. It’s a shame because the court takes their cut to do what should have already have been done.

The Patriarch, Jacob, does not avoid the topic of death. Twice he gave instructions of where he wanted to be buried. “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite” (Gen 49:29-30). He was precise in his request to his sons.

Jacob was living in Egypt and believed that the land of Caanan had been promised to his grandfather, Abraham, his father Isaac, and to him. However, the only part of Caanan owned by Hebrews was a cemetery purchased by his grandfather, Abraham. That didn’t matter, take me there and bury with my fathers as I wait for God to fulfill his promise to our people.

Knowing as Jacob did that death is not the end gives us the courage to face death. Placing our bodies in a grave is not the end of them. God will one day raise them up. Jesus said, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29).

Knowing how to face death gives us the motivation to prepare ourselves and our families for our deaths. We don’t have to fear death or avoid the subject. We can be ready for that moment, having made all the preparations. The essential preparation being the surrender of our heart to Jesus. Believing in Jesus is the greatest decision we will ever make. Listen to the Apostle John, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18). When you serve Jesus, death is no longer your master—Jesus is!

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