Passing Away, Passing On

Tammy De Ruyter

READ : John 17:1-13

“But now I am coming to you . . . “ (v. 13)

In one of the most eloquent prayers in the Bible, John 17 gives us a glimpse into the heart of Jesus. His mission was clear: to enable us to know God through himself—that we might share in eternal life (v. 3). His method was deliberate: to share God’s words with us—that we might witness the presence of God (v. 8). Christ was part of that glorious presence before the world began and knows he’ll shortly return.

We haven’t seen that glory yet. Our views about death are sometimes cloudy. We betray our cultural bias by the euphemisms we use for death. In the Caucasian community, we’ll say something like “Uncle Fred ‘passed away’ last night.” The implication is that Uncle Fred is gone. Not gone anywhere, just gone. Our African-American brothers and sisters, though, have a far more theologically correct and biblically accurate expression. They say “passed on,” as in “Aunt Martha ‘passed on’ to glory.” The sense is more clearly conveyed that when we die, we don’t just pass away; we go somewhere!

Scripture clearly states that those who know Jesus Christ as Savior enter into a grand and glorious future when they die. Celebrate life, but celebrate too the “passing on” of the Lord’s saints.


Thank you, Lord, for the glory that is yet to come.