How to face the death of an infant

A few days ago I was grieved to hear of the death of Ezra Blaize Kline, the 7 week old son of Justin and Rebekah and grandson of my dear friend, Ted Christman and his wife Diane. Ted is the founding pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky. Ezra’s death has been attributed to that mysterious tragedy known as SIDS–Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Two days ago over 400 people from the community of Owensboro gathered to commemorate the brief life and unexpected death of Ezra. The funeral service was also live streamed. Rebekah’s brother, Jonathan, who is also a pastor at Heritage, joined Ezra’s parents in speaking before Ted preached. The whole service is one of the most God-honoring celebrations of the power of the gospel that I have ever observed.

Justin and Rebekah display the grace of God as they testify to His goodness and their resolve to keep trusting and worshiping Him, even as they commend the Lord Jesus to others. This is how Christians who are steeped in the gospel of the crucified Savior grieve. It is how believers in the risen Lord live in hope. These sad events, and the response of the humble, broken-hearted, hope-filled family who have lost this little child are a call for all of us to hold this life lightly and to build our lives on the Lord Jesus. I encourage everyone to watch the video.

Edit: Justin’s and Rebekah’s testimony begins around the 55 minute mark.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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