Archive for the ‘Resurrection’ Category

The Man came to life again

October 7, 2007

We have gathered here on the morning of this first day of the week because this is the day Christ Jesus rose from the dead. In a very real sense Christ rises from the dead again and again every time His body, the church, rises to worship Him on resurrection morning. So I exhort you, as you worship today, to remember the resurrection of our Lord and your new life in Him.

You know how I love to quote C.S. Lewis. He wrote in Mere Christianity:

Again and again it has been thought Christianity was dying, dying by persecutions from without or corruptions from within, by the rise of Mohammedanism, the rise of the physical sciences, by the rise of great anti-Christian revolutionary movements. But every time the world has been disappointed. Its first disappointment was over the crucifixion. The Man came to life again. In a sense – and I quite realize how frightfully unfair it must seem to them – that has been happening ever since. They keep on killing the thing that He started: and each time, just as they are patting down the earth on its grave, they suddenly hear that it is still alive and has even broken out in some new place. No wonder they hate us.

Did you hear that? The Man came to life again. Just as it was impossible for the bonds of death to keep their hold on Jesus, so it is impossible for the church to die. And so every time you gather to thunder out your confession and raise the roof with your zealous praise and sit at the feet of Jesus to receive His Word and to eat at His covenant table in peace, you are the body of Christ rising to rule just as Christ Jesus did. The worship of the church is the edge of the axe that is hacking through the deadness of the world to bring the aroma of new life in Christ Jesus. One day the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth like the waters cover the sea. And until that day the church will not fail. The church will not stay in the grave. The church will prevail.

So I urge you to worship your Triune God – the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. I urge you to remember as you do so that you are the body of Christ that will not and cannot die. You have been raised to reign. So let us worship our risen Lord.

Very God of Very God

June 18, 2007

I was going to put something up about the guy who won Britain’s Got Talent… but this just blew me away.

Let me start with a story from my Navy days … (Civilian equivalents placed in parentheses for Squid Talk)

I was in my rack (bed) onboard the USS Nimitz, having just returned from the head (bathroom) after my shower. Right before taps (the announcement that the work day is over, 10 PM) by tradition the chaplain (Navy preacher) provides the evening prayer.

On this occasion we had a visiting Roman Catholic Priest who was on his way to one of the small boys (Navy ships that escort the larger aircraft carriers) and he was given the opportunity to lead this evening’s prayer. So, he gets on the 1MC (ship’s intercom) and begins to intone, “Dear God, Yahweh , Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Mother Earth… You are known by many names…” I have no idea what he said since I practically hit the deck (floor) at those words coming out the mouth of a man with a cross on his sleeve (a Christian chaplain).

I had that same feeling when I read this story in the Seattle Times. Here is a quote but you should read the whole thing:

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.
On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.
She does both, she says, because she’s Christian and Muslim.

Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she’s ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she’s also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.

Her Bishop does not have a problem with it. Heck, he is down right pumped about the whole thing:

Redding’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting. Her announcement, first made through a story in her diocese’s newspaper, hasn’t caused much controversy yet, he said.

Listen, If you do not believe that Jesus Christ is uniquely very God of very God, then rip the cross off your sleeve. If you do not think that John chapter one teaches that in the beginning Jesus was “the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” then you really should turn in your preaching robes, even the rainbow ones.

If Jesus Christ is not God then His promises are worse than lies. They are death and hell. His proclamation of forgiveness to the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears? The ravings of a mad man. His promise to send His Spirit? Merely spit in the eyes of His grieving friends. Jesus Christ not God? No resurrection with power, no ascension to the right had of the Father, no return in Glory and you are still in your sins.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

Al sends

(HT Mark Steyn, Dave M.)

Death May Have Lost Its Sting But It Still Packs A Wallop.

May 12, 2007

We have had visitors… Almost 2300 of them. From near and far (most of them my wife) they have come. They are transients though. No one stays at the blog long. Judging from the stats (and the lack of comments) they come by, read the catchy titles, peruse the uppermost posts and depart. If one is not careful one might get all Ecclesiastes on oneself (which is not a bad thing). Is there anything vainer than a post that is not read? My post is only slightly related to this though…

As I got up this morning to prepare for my day I ran across this bit of reflection from John Piper. It is on death: “Romantic death is rare. More common are involuntary groanings and screams of pain. The ignominy of dying is pathetic.” My thoughts drifted to how this ignominy got started in the first place:

Gen 3:1-6

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Gen 3:17-19

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

What a shock to the system death’s entrance must have been. From this point on human beings were transients; pilgrims if you will. Adam, looking down at his dusty feet, must have wept. He was crowned with glory, yet because of sin his decedents would tread him underfoot. No romance there.

Death today is just as shocking. Sitting at the foot of a bed, watching life ebb, is a horror. This ought not to be! The body bereft of its soul is an affront to everything good. We were made for something different; something better. Dust is a disgrace, dust is a curse!

That is what makes the resurrection so wonderful! It is putting things right! God reclaims our bodies from the dust, how great is that? Adam will walk in glory again. We will walk in glory with him.

1 Cor 15:40-45

40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

All praise to the Last Adam!

Al sends