He is Alive!
What a beautiful, rainy, windy day this is! Many thoughts swirl in my mind as I consider the significance of this time of year. Ringing everywhere is the sweet refrain: He Lives! Songs of joy, songs of newness of life in Christ, songs of heaven. Do you long for heaven? I pray it’s your sincerest desire to see the LORD Jesus face to Face and to hear Him say: “…Well done, good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25.23)
I so desire to serve the LORD in a manner that brings Him glory and honor. As I think of you all and pray for you, I pray for the LORD to use me to encourage you if you’re needing encouragement and to inspire you if you’re feeling low. I pray that the LORD will be honoured and you will be blessed by what I share with you. Thank you for this privilege—it’s not taken for granted. Sisters, be encouraged—wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you have a very important charge to keep—you’re a daughter of the King! If things have been hard lately, remember: He loves you and is working everything for good! I say this sincerely, because fiery trials and deep prunings bring forth rich fruit and the thorniest bushes have the most fragrant blooms. You’re a precious rose to the LORD. I am seeking to keep this in mind each day – being a precious rose – and each day brings many things that are heavy or misunderstood or cause misunderstandings, regret and sorrow – thorns and prunings.
It is humbling to me that we live in a time where we’re so abundantly blessed – we’re able to hear or read inspiring and educational messages, we’re able to own a copy of the Word and to freely read it, to take part in singing and listening to beautiful hymns and songs of worship and praise, and to join with brothers and sisters in the LORD for edification—to rejoice in our salvation. We’re so blessed to hear messages of hope and joy in our Saviour—messages regarding the gospel account of the life, death and resurrection of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. But… consider this: if Christ be not raised, then it’s all for naught, it’s a cruel hoax—-there is no point… there is no hope… there is no reason for us to gather each week for fellowship or on any day for that matter; nothing to celebrate. But God!
But God! But God who is rich in mercy – who redeemed us, who, while we were yet sinners, died for us! There is reason, a purposeful design… there is hope… our Savior lives! We have something to celebrate: we serve a Risen Saviour! Alleluia!
Revelation 19.6 —
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
Hebrews 12.2 —
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
There was a price to be paid for our sin. He paid. He paid it. He paid it all. “…for the joy that was set before him…”
And He said:
John 14.1-6 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The night of that day.
After my father died, several years ago now, I sat with him a long while… his head cradled in my arms; I watched as his life faded from his body. The urgency and the struggle of the previous moments had faded into a clinical, impersonal documenting of this significant event. Then it was quiet and was quite sobering to me to see the dramatic difference mere seconds had made… and then minutes passed. I wondered what must be occurring at that moment with the LORD. I was thinking of how at that moment my father was in the presence of the LORD. Alone, the room totally quiet following the disconnection of machines and the perfunctory documenting of his death, I made a mental note of everything around me and silently rejoiced in God my Saviour.
“We are confident, I say,
and willing rather to be absent from the body,
and to be present with the Lord.”
II Corinthians 5.8
When the LORD Jesus was on the Cross and then was taken down to be laid in the tomb… it must’ve been with the greatest sadness that they wrapped His precious body in the cloths… the sobering reality of what had just transpired must’ve been unbelievable—the helplessness unimaginable.
At the time, I was far from my own home and in the room I where I was staying at the time, through the warm night as I lay on the bed, I watched pictures of my father in the theatre of my mind and I cried… the making of memories had ended… all that was left now were the memories and the photographs that documented milestones along the way. No matter how long I waited or how much I wished for his return, it was finished. He would not come to life again… he would not return… it was final. It was many hours before sleep came, just before dawn… and then only for a very short while and I was up and on my way home. It was for real. The death was final. There would be no opportunity to see him again. I learned so much about the love of the Living LORD in those hours. I felt totally alone and the room was quiet. But. I knew I was not alone. I knew that because of what happened on the cross, I never walk alone.
When Mary came to the tomb early on the first day of the week, she must’ve been weary with grief, but still managing enough strength to do what must be done for a proper burial she mustered the courage fulfill her personal obligation. What an honour it would have been to assist in caring for the LORD in this way. What a breathtaking thing, then, it must have been for her to arrive and to see what she saw. Then later, can you imagine her astonishment at hearing the voice of the LORD say her name…
He IS alive!
And now looking back on Resurrection messages, I see even more how marvelous and miraculous is the message of the cross. Isn’t it incredible to think of the fulfillment of Scripture and the perfect fulfillment of every detail: proving Scriptural accuracy!? In the eyewitness account of His death, we read of the confirmations that He had indeed died and then reading further we know that He did indeed rise from the dead and was truly alive. We now benefit, not only in His having the price paid for our sins, but with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit…We know Him! We know Him and He knows us by name – He knows our hearts.
Romans 8.16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”
Having witnessed and experienced the momentary bewilderment of witnessing death and then to have watched the preparations carried out to confirm it…. And now to think that the LORD did in fact experience death, *yet* He lives! I can only bow my head and then look up and say, “thank You.”
I can only say, “thank You.”
He lives today! This is the Good News. He is Risen.
He is our Hope — Christ in you, the Hope of Glory!