I love how Bethany covered this chapter our last time around. You can read her post here. (We’re trying to stay in step with our previous rhythm, so we are only covering one chapter today.)
Besides feeling devastated about how things ended for Jonathan, my attention was drawn to the men of Jabesh-gilead. They send their best warriors to retrieve the murdered and mutilated bodies of Saul and his sons, and give honor and tribute to them.
The last time we heard about the people of Jabesh was in chapter 11. Saul rescued them after they were besieged and threatened by the Ammonites (remember the eye-gauging thing?). They repay him by properly mourning his death.
I can’t put my finger on why this detail of the chapter jumps out to me. It kind of reminds me of when that wealthy guy, Joseph, gives his new tomb for Jesus’ body to be buried in after the crucifixion (Matthew 27:57).
Jonathan is in good company. Jesus was tortured and murdered, his body mistreated as an empty shell. John the Baptist was senselessly beheaded, his head served on a platter during a dinner party (Matthew 14).
A good, holy life does not ensure a good and holy death. We are all going down, one way or another, and there’s no reason to get hung up on how, when or why.
Jesus has defeated Death! It cannot permanently hold us down. Don’t let the fear of death define your life. But instead, fix your attention on the Giver of Life.