Going to a funeral isn’t high on any of our lists. Funerals mean we’ve lost someone we know and love. We experience pain and sorrow, along with tears and crying. Not a very good time, usually.
Yet for us to get right with God, we’ve all got to attend what Oswald Chambers would call our own “white funeral”—the burial of our old lives. Jesus replied to Nicodemus, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NIV) We call it a white funeral because our old natures—the accepted wisdom that has blown up our lives—must die. Most of us who know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior remember the exact time and date when we attended our own white funeral. Our needs changed from craving success, bling, status and perhaps alcohol, drugs, and sexual encounters to hungering for a relationship with Jesus. It was as if we became addicted to God. The Holy Spirit pulled at our hearts like a magnet. We became new persons on the inside.
For those of us who do not yet have a relationship with Jesus, we need a white funeral—to be born again. We may scratch our heads, not really knowing what that means. What it means is this: When we come to that place where our hearts cry out to God and we open them to the presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ enters into our hearts. If we truly appeal to God to change our lives in a transforming way, our old natures die and our new natures are born. We gain freedom from guilt, fear, anger, and an unforgiving heart. In its place is a heart that acknowledges sin and comprehends Jesus’ amazing sacrifice on our behalf. We become newborns—new creations in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Our sinful selves die, and we begin a new life in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.