The Beggar’s Escort
The beggar died, and, was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.
~ Luke 16:22
Nothing is said about his funeral — of course it was only a pauper’s. Earth had no honour for the beggar, no splendid coffin, no flowers; but the angels came, and were his bearers and escort to glory. Notice also that nothing is said about what became of his body; but little matter, for the man himself was no longer in that old, worn-out, battered frame. He was soon far away in a realm of brightness. While the body was dropped, the beggar, the real man, was carried away to heaven; and we see him there, a beggar no longer, enjoying blessedness.
There is still another thought here. We dread death. It seems the end of existence. But really to the Christian it is only an incident in his life. It is just a moment’s passage through an experience we never can understand; and then — glory. One minute this poor beggar lies at the gate, despised, suffering, hungry; the next, a strange sensation passes over him, and all is confusion; then he awakes flying through the air with angel-escort, and in a little time is inside the gate of pearl, and lives on. There is no break in his life.
Death came also to the rich man. His riches could not save him from that. No doubt he had a splendid funeral. There would be a long procession, many mourners, great waste of perfumes, every show of honour. But who would not rather have the beggar’s escort after death than the finest funeral earth ever gave to mortal? There have been funerals of rich men at which there was genuine sorrow, where those who had been blessed by their benevolence came and wept by their coffins. But in this case there were no sincere mourners, for the man had allowed the needy to lie hungry at his gates. He had lived for himself only and no one really missed him when he was gone.