Headstone in Tomnahurich Cemetery

A Headstone in Tomnahurich


The words on this gravestone in Tomnahurich Cemetery tell a story that all should know.

"In memory of Murdoch Campbell, born at Garve 24th December 1852. Born again at Inverness 10th July 1874 ... Fell asleep at Pittenweem, Fife, 4th December 1895".

Who Murdoch Campbell was may be unknown, or forgotten, by all but a few, but the facts related on his memorial stone speak to all. They tell of his birth, life, and death. They also tell of an event that took place in his life that had the ultimate bearing on the kind of death that he died.

You will notice that it does not say that he died at Pittenweem on the 4th December 1895, but that he "Fell asleep". To "Fall asleep" is one of the great Biblical descriptions for those who die as Christians. What it means is that their mortal bodies are simply resting in their graves until the morning of the resurrection of the dead, when Christ will return to this world, and will wake their bodies out of that sleep. It is the final triumph of their Christianity in Christ, and once it takes place, then they shall be "with Christ" for ever.

Not every one dies in this way; nor indeed will every one know the blessings of the resurrection in this way. What determines the kind of death and resurrection a person has, is whether or not that person has entered into the experience mentioned on the gravestone. We are told that this man was "Born at Garve," in 1852, but also that he was Born again" in 1874.

Being "Born again" means being brought to spiritual life in Jesus Christ, through the operation of God's Holy Spirit in the soul. We all have a natural birth which brings us to natural life. But in order to be a Christian, a person must have a spiritual birth that brings to spiritual life.

That's what Jesus means in His Word, when He says, "Ye must be born again". Note that He says, "Ye MUST be born again." Only as a person has experienced a spiritual birth will they die a spiritual death, and enjoy the blessings of being "raised up" to be with Christ when He returns once more.

The evidence of having been "born again" by the Spirit of God is that a person fully trusts in Christ, and in Christ alone, for salvation, and that their life is given to Christ to worship and serve Him.

Dear Friend – there is nothing more gracious or glorious in all the world than the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Saviour. When He tells us to place our trust in Him, and to believe in Him, it is something that will not only bring great blessing to our lives now, but for all eternity. As the first "text" upon that headstone says, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness". That is the eternal blessing of believing in Christ's name; but there are blessings right now – this day – for all who place their trust in Him. May you do so.