Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Resurrection Power

Friday, April 19, the Lord welcomed Daddy to heaven. One week before I had been to a concert where Matt Maher played his song “Christ Is Risen.” I meditated on it all week and while we knew Daddy was sick we didn’t realize he would be leaving us so soon. But our God did and He used that song to prepare me. The song is based on 1 Corinthians 15:55-57: “Where, o death, is your sting? Where o death, is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Maher’s song says: “Christ is risen from the dead…trampling over death by death.” Only Jesus could use Satan’s greatest weapon to defeat him for all eternity.

That weekend after the concert, I began this blog and I knew deep down it would be for Daddy. We held Daddy’s funeral last Sunday which seems fitting since our Lord died on a Friday and rose again on a Sunday morning. While Daddy hasn’t risen again yet, we know his spirit is with our Lord simply awaiting the day of Resurrection.  Daddy didn’t fear death because like all Christians, Christ’s death and resurrection took away the sting and the fear of Satan’s greatest weapon.  Jesus showed only He has the true power of life and death. After the death of his friend Lazarus, Jesus comforted Lazarus’ sister Martha with these words: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:24-25)

All of us who loved Daddy grieve that we can no longer see his smile, hear his laughter or go to him for advice. But we do not grieve as those without hope. We grieve knowing that thanks to Jesus’ love and sacrifice, we will see Daddy again. And he will be whole and well and ready to receive us with one of his big bear hugs.  I pray now the God of all comfort will be with us in the coming days.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

King of Kings

Each Easter I pull out an old Sandi Patty CD with the song “Who Will Call Him of Kings?” on it. This year as I listened to the song, I thought how Pilate ordered the words “King of the Jews” to be inscribed on a plaque and hung above Jesus’ head on the cross.  It was not only a derisive title but also an indictment as there was only one acknowledged king in the Roman Empire: Caesar. To say otherwise meant certain death.

To call Jesus king means to accept His absolute authority and to completely surrender to Him which often puts Christians at odds with the world. For first-century Christians, calling Jesus king meant the possibility of facing a death penalty. But to do otherwise meant denying and devaluing the truth of Jesus’ identity. Through the centuries, Jesus followers have been and continue to be executed for following Him. That fact makes the declaration, “We will call Him King of Kings” in the Sandi Patty song all the more poignant.

The song not only tells of the early disciples’ faithfulness, but issues a call to action to us today. My favorite line tells of the disciples’ response at the empty tomb: “They ran as fast as feet could fly, ‘The Lord is risen’ was their cry!” That should be our response to Easter Sunday, too. We should run to tell everyone we meet of the good news of Jesus’ resurrection, for it is only His death and resurrection which atones for our sins and assures us of an eternal hope of life with Him.

1 Timothy 6:14-15: “…until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, ...”