Often when there is a death, whether it is a well-known person or someone that my family or friends knew, I ponder what would that person have to say if they could come back and speak to us. Here we would have someone who has been to “the other side” and could tell us about it. And just this morning I was doing that very thing. Then I remembered these words that Abraham spoke in Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus:
“But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
In the story, the rich man has died and from his torment in Hades he cries out to Abraham to send Lazarus to cool his tongue, and when that request is denied, he begs for Lazarus to be sent to warn his still living brothers. He believes that if someone came from the dead, they’d believe them. Abraham says not so. I don’t know if Abraham’s statement here is meant only for these brothers, or if he knows that this is how all humans operate. If so, then this is an amazing thing about us human beings. And it also says something about the power of the words of Moses and the prophets.