Charlotte Louise Peet Boyles
Yesterday, May 30, 2020, I was one of six privileged to carry a casket containing the remains of Charlotte Louise Boyles. Charlotte was the mother of Cynthia, Bradford, and Vivian. She was the grandmother of many, including our children, Matthew, and Elisabeth. She was also a great grandmother to the flock of our adorable grandchildren: Violet, Mia, Noelle, Charlie, Henry, and George. Memories were stolen from Charlotte due to Alzheimer’s, but those memories have been restored as of Sunday, May 24. But even more will be restored when the trumpet sounds.
What is a Casket or a Coffin?
When I am studying or reading, I often come upon words that I don’t know. As a result, I look words up in a dictionary. I also like to look for synonyms. Understanding a word makes understanding thoughts and sentences possible. One such word is “casket.” I knew what a casket is, but I’m also interested in word origins. What is the origin of and flavors of this word? This word is associated with death, and death frightens many because it is very final (or so it seems) and very unknown if one doesn’t know the scriptures.
One definition says the word casket can mean a “small box.” This includes “a box for jewelry or other precious items.” Casket’s earliest meaning, from the Old French word cassette, is a diminutive form of case. Another interesting insight came when I tried to understand the difference between a coffin and a casket. They are different. The difference is one of design. Coffins are usually low cost boxes tapered at the head and foot. They are wide at the shoulders. Caskets, in contrast, are rectangular in shape. Caskets also are usually constructed of quality materials l and feature higher standards of workmanship. But the end result is that both are usually buried and the contents decay and return to dust.
Causes of Death
When the physician signs the death certificate (an official statement, signed by a physician, of the cause, date, and place of a person’s death), the cause of death might be old age, cancer, a terrible accident with trauma, heart failure, suicide or a host of other causes. It might be a combination of several of these. But the real cause of death is sin. Death is really just what we all earn for what we think, choose, do, fail to do, and say. (Romans 6:23) In the end, sin is worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. And God clearly communicated to Adam and Eve that they would die if they chose the creation over Him. God keeps his promises.
Number of Lives
Cats are said to have nine lives. People get two as defined by the Creator. We are given physical life by God. He used our parents as the starting point for our physical lives. But there is something about every person that is a part of who we are that will exist after the casket is closed and buried. That part is the soul. Many would benefit from reading Ezekiel chapter 18. In verse 4 God says, “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.” God also repeats several times that he has no pleasure in the death of anyone. He appeals to the listener to repent and live.
The Resurrection and the Life
The best place to start for the second life is to listen to what Jesus said. He said he is the one who has and who gives eternal life. This is life number two. It is a very, very, very long life. It is better than life insurance, it is life assurance. It has a purpose: that you can be with the one who made you.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30 (ESV)
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:1-7
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” John 11:25-26 (ESV) Do you believe this? Then you know the “rest of the story.” This is the rest of the story for Charlotte:
The Rest of the Story: Please Choose the Happy Ending
Charlotte chose life. Life everlasting. It wasn’t based on what she did, but on what Christ Jesus did. She is one of the “dead in Christ” and because He lives, she will live also.
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (ESV)
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4 (ESV)
“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (ESV)
“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:1-3 (ESV)
Choose well. Choose God’s Way, Truth and Life.