My cousin brother Kartik expired day before yesterday (30 Dec, 2009). He was 38. He probably was an agnostic. We were born in a Hindu family. He had a science-oriented outlook and perhaps found it difficult to rationally explain spiritual phenomena. His death brings up several thoughts that I feel like sharing with my readers – but not before I compare them with Scripture.
In the Hindu religion, as many of you would be aware, a dead body is cremated – burnt. The remains are ashes and bones. Cremation happens either in a traditional way, placing the dead body on a pile of wood; or it is ‘strolleyed’ into a pre-ignited electric furnace. I had to visit the electric crematorium as part of the ceremony, although I did not have to participate in the formalities. The atmosphere in the complex (which was full of greenery) was that of sorrow and hopelessness. It was clear that – barring me and probably my father – no one there had any idea whatsoever about what happens after death. That’s because none of them had anything to do with the Bible. For them, my cousin had probably gone into another human body, in some other part of the world – or maybe in some other world… They were not aware of the promise in John 3:16.
My cousin had blood cancer (myeloid leukemia). He fought a courageous war, partnering with earthly doctors and family members. I tried my level best to elaborate on Matthew 8:17 and 1 Peter 2:24 in the hope that he would partner with God and believe and receive healing from the Lord Jesus. Unfortunately, he didn’t, though apparently he had repented of his sins and accepted Jesus in front of a pastor who I took along to minister to him. Not sure if it was from the bottom of his heart or just to respect my sentiments… It was frustrating. But every one has a choice – Truth though, doesn’t keep changing itself with people’s choices. God is sovereign. His offer had a time limit. Ultimately His will is always done. I thank God for giving me over 30 years to spend as my cousin’s close friend and playmate. He was one of the noblest and most compassionate and loving human beings I have come across so far. May God grant grace to his entire family to bear the loss and use the tragedy to save the unsaved family members. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.