August 2021 | Resurrection Hope

'First' Resurrection
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'First' Resurrection

Dr. John K. Mathew

Thomas Jefferson culled out all moral teachings of the first three Gospels and gathered them into a book called 'The Life and Moral Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth'.

The book ends, "And they laid Jesus in the tomb and departed. By contrast, George Washington's epitaph contains the words of John 11;25. It reads, "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. he who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die". 

What does the resurrection of Christ mean to us? A clear hope that one day we will have our resurrection through his redeeming power. Chuck Swindoll writes, " Hope is a wonderful gift from God, a source of strength and courage in the face of life's harshest trials. When we are trapped in a tunnel of misery, hope points to the light at the end. When we are overworked and exhausted, hope gives us fresh energy. When we are discouraged, hope lifts our spirits. When we are tempted to quit, hope keeps us going". Certainly, he is not talking about the resurrection hope. It deals with a hopeful attitude. But the final point of all our expectations is the hope of resurrection. Believe it or not, there will be a resurrection for all who were born on the face of the earth. The Scripture says, " Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt" (Dan. 12:2).

In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany stands an unusual gravestone. A woman who didn't believe in the resurrection directed in her will that her burial place be made so secure that just in case there was a resurrection it couldn't touch her. Huge slabs of granite were fastened together with heavy steel clamps and placed over her grave. Engraved on the marker were these words: "This burial place must never be opened". In time a small acorn seed germinated just beneath the edge of the stone. As it grew into a tree and its trunk got bigger, the heavy slab was gradually shifted and the steel clamps were wrenched from their sockets. Those massive pieces of granite could not withstand the dynamic life force within that small seed. The words of  Apostle Paul is perfectly fitting here. "But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await, for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our body of humiliation, so that it may be conformed to his glorious body, according to the working of His power even to subdue all things to himself ". (Phil. 4:20,21). This promise is for those who are redeemed by His blood and for the rest the resurrection is no longer a promise but a warning. Let us wait and hope and wait and see.     

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