So often we see “RIP” (Rest in Peace) written on memorial walls, comment sections of blogs, and/or on actual tombstones honoring deceased individuals. A more modern version of “RIP” used by many is “RIH,” which means Rest in Heaven.
The more traditional RIP epitaph inscription, I believe, allows for a deeper understanding of life than it does death. Specifically, the inscription allows for focus on two things: rest and peace. You do realize that these two, rest and peace, are vital to life, don’t you? Let’s look at it.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 -NIV)
Two of the key things the thief (i.e. Satan, the enemy) attempts to still, kill, and destroy are your rest and your peace. He oftentimes attempts this through disruptions to your health, finances, family, professional life, emotional well-being, and/or your spiritual life with our Father, Jehovah. When rest and peace are disrupted, weariness results. It is for this reason, I believe, that Jesus tells us:
28Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28)
He also tells us in John 14:27—“27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (NIV)
Notice that Jesus GIVES us the rest and peace the thief (Satan, the enemy) desires to destroy, kill, and steal from us—by any means necessary, I might add. Further, understand that the rest and peace Jesus GIVES us is for our benefit NOW in LIFE. In other words, we are not waiting for death in order to attain the blessing of rest and peace.
So, perhaps the epitaph can be written as “RIHP” (Rest in His Peace), and we can apply the inscription to our lives right now as we cast our cares upon Him. Have a funeral–if you will–for the problems and situations that have attempted disrupting your rest and peace. When you bury these problems and situations, know that the Son–through the Father–has already given us an inscription to write on the face of the tombstone as a reminder to all who would read and consider it: RIHP, Rest In His Peace.
In Yeshua’s name, Amen!
[Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) 6 Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.]