Dick Hunt's Blog

April 20, 2011

Resurrection. Restoration. Rest in the Lord.

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 9:03 am

Resurrection.  Restoration.  Rest in the Lord.
by Dick Hunt, April 20th, 2011.

Easter is almost upon us. Easter is the season when Christians celebrate the Rising from of the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ on the third day after he was brutally crucified.  The authorities tried their best to prove that he did not rise from the dead, saying that he only fainted, that his body was stolen from the tomb and so on. To this very day, nay sayers are trying to persuade people that the old attempts to cover up his rising were successful. This, in spite of his having been seen by over 500 people at once and by smaller groups of people over a period of forty days after that rising.  I am one among many who have entered that tomb in Jerusalem most believed to be the one in which his body lay on that weekend. It was an awesome and convincing experience.

St. Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 15:17 – 19, ‘if Jesus was not raised from the dead, we are of all people the most to be pitied’.  He goes on to say, ‘But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…’  The New Testament rings with the conviction of all the authors that Jesus lives and is here forever, to come again at the end of the present age to judge the worlds people and to divide them into two groups, believers and unbelievers. The choice is ours to make.  Jesus was not just a better than average citizen, a good teacher or a good example.  He was all that but he is God’s own and only Son who alone was qualified to die for you and for me and for all humanity, because he was free from sin and was both Divine and human in one man.  A mystery? Of course he was. But very loving and very believeable. His sufferings after his arrest; the beating by the soldiers, the cruel crown of thorns, carrying the cross on his own lacerated back, all on top of carrying in his own person the sins of all the worlds people of every time and place was an agony only he has ever borne. And yet he was able to say from his cross,  “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing”.
And then, among other things he said, at the moment of death, “It is finished”.  What he meant of course is that what he came into the world to accomplish is finished.  He had died to destroy the power of sin.  He rose to life again, the first born from the dead, to destroy eternal death itself. His own closest friends and companions did not believe he would rise from the dead. The first of them at the tomb on Sunday morning, very early, were some of the women who came to more correctly prepare his body for death.  They were met by an angel in the tomb who told them he had risen and that they should tell Peter and the others that he was not in the tomb. Peter and John ran to the tomb and John, being the youngest got there first, looked in but did not enter.  Peter, the impulsive one looked into the tomb and entered it.  Seeing the empty grave cloths and the linen which had been around his head being in a place by itself, he saw and believed.  There was no doubting their own eyes.  The body was not there.

That same evening, the Disciples, less only Judas who had hanged hmself in his remorse that “he had betrayed an innocent man for thirty pieces of silver”, and Thomas who was away, were gathered together in “the upper room” with some of the women who supported Jesus, when he appeared among them in his risen body, having entered through a locked door, “for fear of the Jews”.  He sad, “Fear not, it is I”.  Jesus did not seek people who feared him but those who loved him.  He is still, as the Lord of lords and King of kings, loving us and willing only to draw us into the Kingdom of God for eternal life with him in heaven. And of course, heaven is a mystery to us too.  The only one we have ever known who can tell us what heaven is like is Jesus Christ who was with God the Father and Creator at the dawn of Creation. Jesus is God’s Word of authority and power clothed in his human body, now his glorified body.  Jesus is God’s final Word to the world, clothed in human flesh to walk among us and to show the Father’s love and forgiveness to all who come to Him in penitence and obedience.

The account is all in the Bible, in words far beyond my little account in this article.  To know for yourself what God has done through Jesus, who was born into the world as that little Baby in the manger in Bethlehem, please go to the Bible and search diligently as I do and as billions lof people do and the Holy Spirit will show you the Truth. You will be rewarded by being restored to the “Way” which Jesus himself with show you is the answer to your every problem for the rest of your days on earth.  He will find you where you are  and show you what you should do in a life of commitment to him.  And as long as you stay in his presence and live according to his will, you will be safe for all eternity. Be prepared for many surprises, some of which you will wonder about.  The devil will see to that.  As soon as we make our commitment to invite Jesus into our hearts and minds, the devil will attack us with all sorts of tests and lies and that is when we need to dig into the Bible and be surrounded by other pilgrims who are on the way to eternal life. Pilgrims are those who are deliberately on the way to a goal in life.  What better goal than being at last in eternity with those whom we have loved on earth in the vast company of the Saints, in the very presence of God and Jeuus our Saviour and Lord.

‘Safe in the arms of Jesus’ is not just the first line of an old hymn written by Frances J. Van Alstyne in 1870.  It is the condition in which we can find ourselves as we progress in our discipleship and in our pilgrimage as we near the end of our days.  And who among us can number our own days.  We are surrounded by many kinds of danger in these times and know not the time of our last moment. When we go on a journey, we try to make provision for any need that might arise – clothing, funds, medications etc..  Some of us are up in years and can be aware that we have a short span of time in which to prepare for our great transition.  The wise plan for everyone is to always be prepared. Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on his gentle breast.  Happy Easter. Allehulia.

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