Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Up From the Grave

     In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, is a grave on which were placed huge slabs
of granite and marble cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. 
     It belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead.  Yet strangely, she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, it could not reach her.  On the marker were inscribed these words:    
     "This burial place must NEVER be opened."
     In time, a seed, covered over by the stones, began to grow.  Slowly it pushed its way through the soil and out from beneath them.  As the trunk enlarged, the great slabs were gradually shifted so that the steel clasps were wrenched from their sockets... 
     A tiny seed had become a tree that had pushed aside the stones.
     The dynamic life force contained in that little seed is a faint reflection of the tremendous power of God's creative word that someday will call to life the bodies of ALL who are in their graves.  Jesus said, "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29).
     The Divine Guarantee of our OWN resurrection is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.        “But now Christ IS risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits [i.e., the first of many to follow] of those who have fallen asleep [died]. 
     For since by man [Adam] came death, by Man [Jesus] also came the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20-21).
      The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an integral part of the Gospel (“Good News”) of salvation through Christ (READ 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  The GOOD NEWS is that the righteousness of God is imputed to (or credited to the account) “those of us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up for our offenses, and was raised for our justification” (Romans 3:24-25).
     Unbelief CANNOT deter the resurrection. But faith in and obedience to the risen Christ opens the door to blessings that His resurrection guarantees -- a glorious new spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:35-58) AND a home in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-5).
     Robert Lowry proclaimed the power of Jesus’ resurrection in the lyrics of the song,
“Up From the Grave He Arose”: “Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o’er His foes....”
     And because of Jesus, WE can share in His victory over sin and death!
     Won’t YOU, out of an obedient faith (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance
(2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10), and be buried with Him in baptism so that you can be raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4)?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:
http://www.creekwoodcc.org


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