Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, �All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.� Amen.

Jesus appears to the people after His death. Luke and John mention other appearances, but Matthew focuses on this single appearance. There were people there who believed this was indeed The Risen Christ and there were those who doubted. Yet the message Jesus gave was for all to hear. He did not reject the disbelievers or stand at a distance from them, but came near to alleviate the doubts of His resurrection. Christ states His authority over heaven and earth so there is no question of Christ�s reign as King of Heaven and Earth. He gives commission to those listening to teach others what Christ Himself taught and to make disciples as He made disciples. And Christ reaffirmed His promise that He would be with those who placed their faith in Him throughout eternity.

Sheldon Vanauken was a student of the English professor and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis in the early 1950s. He recounts in his book A Severe Mercy the story of his last meeting with his mentor when Vanauken was leaving Oxford for the United States. Over one final lunch together at a pub, they had spent time wondering aloud about the nature of life after death. When they had finished eating, they stood outside of the pub, talked for a few more minutes, and just before parting ways, Lewis said to Vanauken, "I shan't say goodbye. We'll meet again." The great apologist then plunged into the traffic to cross the street while Vanuaken watched his friend walk away. When Lewis got to the other side of the street, he turned around, anticipating that his friend would still be standing there. With a grin on his face, Lewis shouted over the great roar of cars, "Besides�Christians never say goodbye."

[Greg Ogden, in the sermon "Christians Never Say Good-Bye," Christ Church of Oak Brook (Oak Brook, IL) (preached 5-24-09)]

If we value our faith in Jesus Christ we understand that each person who places their faith in Christ will all be together one day in the heavenly realms. It is a thought that always brings peace to me when a family member or friend who has placed their faith in Christ passes away; for I know one day I will see them again. As my mother was dying from cancer, we reminded my mother, �Just think of all the people you will get to see, grandmother, granddad and so many other family and friends.� My mother smiled and excitingly said, �You are right, I will!� And with that a peace fell over her that calmed and reassured her that while she was near the end of life on earth, she was near the beginning of an eternal life in heaven.