On previous posts we have considered how to prepare to pray and choose music for a funeral service. The third of the 5 main areas is the careful and diliberate choosing of Scripture passages to effectively communicate the gospel.
Scripture readings need to be carefully chosen. In trying to be gospel-centered, you can never go wrong with passages that make the gospel clear in plain reading (Eph. 2:1-10, Rom. 5:5-11, 2 Cor. 5:17-21). You also want to prepare to read passages that will complement the main text of your sermon. For example, a great passage to preach for funerals is John 11, where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. A complementary—but not redundant—passage to read somewhere else in the service is the end of 1 Corinthians 15, where Christ takes the sting of death and gives us victory through him (1 Cor. 15: 54-57), allowing us, as a consequence, to be steadfast and abounding in the work of the Lord until his return (1 Cor. 15:58). In services for those where you are confident of the deceased person’s conversion, passages that speak of the resurrection of our bodies to live eternally with Christ when he returns for his people, are very appropriate (1 Thess. 4: 13-18), since they speak of a Christian’s comfort when faced with death (1 Thess. 4:18).