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Jacob Cook (1985-2010)

Last week was a tough week for the United Reformed Churches in Southern California.  Scott Clark wrote about the death of a dear friend and fellow church member due to cancer.  Scott reminded us that sin and its consequences are terrible, yet the grace of God is so much greater.  The Consequences of Sin

Christ Reformed also lost one of our own last week.  Jacob Cook, twenty-four years old, died of a massive brain hemorrhage.  Jake was alive one minute and in the presence of our Lord the next.

Today, I am conducting his funeral--a tough job because I baptized Jake in 2002, and thought the world of him.  It is hard to conduct a service in which I'd rather be participating in as a mourner.  But my calling is to comfort Jake's father Rob, Jake's friends, and our church members by cursing death through the preaching of Christ crucified and proclaiming Christ's victorious resurrection from the dead.  Lord willing, that is what I will do.

Please pray for Jake's father (Rob) and for us at Christ Reformed as we grieve the death of this wonderful young man.  You can read about him here (Jake Cook).  One of Jake's favorite verses was John 11:25--I have chosen it as the text of his funeral sermon this afternoon.

Occasions like this remind me once again why we must defend the doctrine of justification sola fide at all costs!  What comfort is there in our faithfulness, or in a final justification/vindication according to works?  Today, we will seek our comfort in the merits of Jesus Christ, received by faith alone.

Reader Comments (14)

...and John 11:25 is the place to go for that comfort! Think of how Martha and Mary confront Christ - if You had been here my brother would not have died! Sounds like our questioning why God would do such a thing, when we lose someone so young. Preach Christ!
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpb

Thank you for preaching Christ and defending the doctrine of justification sola fide at all costs!

I will pray for Jake's father, Rob, and for all at Christ Reformed.
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBBywaters
Sad reminder that we leave in a fallen , broken world . But in Christ alone there is hope . Praying for his family and you and all at Christ Reformed .
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterReg Schofield
Almighty God, whose compassions fail not, even through the troubles of this mortal life; we beseech thee to comfort Jake's family with the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection of the Body. Comfort them also with the assurance that, having been declared righteous, Jake is now in heaven, through Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate.
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharles L. Baker

Jake was a very thoughtful young man who always asked me insightful theological and philosophical questions. I will miss his presence at church. My heart goes out to his father Rob.

I'm thankful you conducted his funeral. May our faithful Savior grant the Cook family peace.

Romans 8:38

Kenneth Samples
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkenneth samples
Pastor Kim,

Very moving to read about Jacob Cook. And being a pastor is a tough job. God bless you as you continue to minister to his family.

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVenkatesh

Thank you for reminding us yesterday that we have been freed to mourn the death of loved ones, feel anger at sin and death, and have hope eternal through the work of our Lord and Savior.

Jake's family and friends are in our prayers.
July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAuk
It was an honor to be among the gathered to say goodbye (for now) to a friend beloved by so many and most importantly counted righteous and precious in God's sight because of him being in Christ.

Thank you for ministering to Jake's family and all of us the sure hope of the resurrection. We do not grieve without hope. The basics of our faith come alive and spring up in praise and glory to God even in the midst of deep grief.

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Brancaleone
Here is a link to another pastor's blog, which you may find useful. He had to face presiding over the funeral of an "apparent" unbeliever. His struggles were obvious and manifold, but he remembered the sage advice of a wise old seminary professor and proceeded with confidence.

Your situation is much different, since the young man was a believer. But in the end the out comes are the same, preaching Christ crucified and resurrected - our hope in years to come.
July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Thank you all so very much for all you prayers and support. The darkness of losing Jake would be darker, and the sadness more intense without the fellowship of those of you who knew him.

Thanks to Kim for doing the service on his time off. It was law and gospel. In your face with the reality that death is something we all face alone. Also, the comfort of the fact that Christ has conquered death and the requirements of the law have been fulfilled by His life, death, resurrection and ascension.

My heart is broken but I more eagerly await the resurrection. I weep but I thank God for the years I had with Jake and the fact that I lost him temporarily only to gain him back in eternity. I will miss him every hour but at the same time I know sadness pain and sin are a thing of the past for Jake.

Thank you for every kind word you ever said to Jake
July 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob Cook
Thank you Kim for your enduring faithfulness in this difficult time...truly we heard from God at the service for Jake...

a true friend, like a son, someone you couldn't help but love, God was good to us for the times we had with him...we know that in Christ without doubt our temporary sadness will be turned to joy eternal...looking forward to that day,pray the Lord comfort us and keep us, until then!
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Deardorff
I can't begin to tell you all how we are feeling right now, it is still hard to believe that Jake is not in California. We are so far away and not able to be there to comfort our son Rob, but we have talked often and this comforts us. As you all have said Jake was someone very special and a lovely young man, he is so missed. On the day of his funeral, we went to our own church here in Westfield, Canada and had a small service of our own with the Minister. at exactly the same time as you. Rob had called with the lessons to be used and we had the same, this was so comforting.
We miss and loved Jake so much it is very hard.

His loving "Grampy" and "Nana"
July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMorris and Louisa Cook
To Rob Cook,

I'm deeply sorry to hear of Jake's passing away. Although i spent very little time when i was in California, I know how much your son means to you. The times we spend there were joyous ones. I remembered when you told me of how you came to Christ and of how Jake came into your life, a story like that stays with you for a lifetime. I know the loss that you're experiencing right now (I too lost a loved one)and may the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you, Jake's mom and his grandparents. I pray that he counsels all of you in this special time of need.

Your brother -in- christ,
Brooklyn, N.Y.
July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRay Diaz
I would like to just say that seeing Jacob and his father together was a true joy for see a father and son so close was a true inspiration to me (as my father and I were not as close) I respected Jacob in that he was an impressionable young man ( which I could see made his father proud) I would like to first give my true condolences to the entire family of Jacob. I had the opportunity to spend good times with both of them together, and they are times that I will always cherish...GOD BLESS
August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterW. Granger

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