Tag Archive | easter

THE EMPTYTOMB

Hi all! In the next few days we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection day. Honestly, toward to the Passover day sometimes I feel a bit sad and emotional because I still heard question like, “Is it true that Jesus has risen?” It could be normal if the question comes out from the unbelievers, but I really don’t understand when that question came out from people who have lived in Christ. It’s a very sad and weird reality! However, it’s okay! I’m trying to understand and accept this reality. I know that Jesus’ resurrection story has been a debate and causing the occurrence of pros and cons. Not only today, people who lived in Jesus’ time also didn’t believe or doubt; even worse some Jesus’ disciples also too (Matthew 28: 16-17)

Therefore, I’m longing to write about the facts of Jesus ‘resurrection. This post just a reminder that Jesus has really risen! I’m interested to choose Jesus’ tomb as a topic of this post. In my opinion the empty tomb was a starting point of the entire Jesus’ resurrection story. All things that happened in the tomb and the existence of tomb itself became a controversial story throughout the human life history and will goes on. Many people scientifically strongly objected to all things that happened in the tomb. They claim that it was only a legend or myth development created by Jesus’ disciples and followers. Some other argued it just an apologetics device rather than a historical fact that can be accounted for. The extreme opinion was said that Jesus actually never arose but His disciples stole Jesus’ body. Now, let’s take a look in detail what happened at the Jesus’ tomb.

The Angel of the Lord

The moment of Jesus’ resurrection begins with an amazing event. Along with a violent earthquake, The Lord’s angels with white clothes like a snow and appeared like a lightning came down from the Heaven, then rolled a multi-tons stone back at the entrance of the tomb then sat on it. (Matthew 28: 1-4) Oh, I imagine how wonderful the moment was. The angel sat on the stone was showing the magnificent of Jesus’ resurrection power and symbolized a glorious triumph over the death and sepulcher! Then the angel said to Mary Magdalene and other Mary who at the dawn went to look at the tomb,

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. “He is not here, He has risen, just as he said… (Matthew 28:5)

I took time for a while pondering this word then I tried to put myself as Mary Magdalene. When I heard the word, “He has risen, just as He said…” I am very sure the Angel not trying to delude me and there’s no more reason for me to not believe the angel’s words. The angel’s remarks has been totally become a very strong proof that Jesus has risen. The Angel wasn’t made up a fish story! Angels are the God’s messengers! They never lie! At the time, the angel was telling a thing that Jesus had said before (Just as he said…) but to convincing both of the women, the angle asked them to get into the tomb and showed where Jesus lay. The Angel said, Come and see the place where he lay” (Matthew 28:6) A statement will be more credible if accompanied with authentic proof and at the time the angel gave an authentic, undeniable, and undoubted proof. The both of women didn’t see Jesus’ body. They simply found the neat grave clothes! After that the Angel told to the women tell to the Jesus’ disciples Jesus has risen from the dead and will see Jesus in Galilee (Matthew 28:7)

Women witnesses

My beloved readers, there was interesting thing in Jesus’ resurrection story and it becomes another absolute proof of Jesus’ resurrection. Titus Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian, says that women weren’t even permitted to serve as witnesses in a Jewish court of law. But at the time, the fact was, the women, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary was mentioned and included as the first and main witnesses. I quote a comment of William Lane Craig about this matter; the discovery of the tomb by women is highly probable… Why women and not the male disciples were made discoverers of the empty tomb is that women were in fact the one who made this discovery. If I may conclude, the women, regardless of their status in Jewish society, were a part of grand design of Jesus’ resurrection story. The women had been plotted like that way. So if there’s an objection about women as witnesses, it doesn’t matter! Who cares! Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t a case in the court of law but a part of fulfillment of God’s promise. The happened fact the women found the empty tomb, they tell men (the disciples), the men made verification, and then they spread the word. It means the truth of the women’s testimony can be accounted for. So once again I think the idea of Jesus’ resurrection was only a legend created by Jesus’ followers is a very unreasonable idea. An event that involving trusted witnesses (though women) and someone else trust it cannot be called as legend or hoax!

The unknown tomb

Now let’s look to the tomb itself. There were so many disclosed theories to break the fact and truths of Jesus’ resurrection. There was a theory said that the Jesus’ tomb site was unknown. Well you know this theory made me take a deep breath and felt really confused. The Jesus’ tomb was unknown? I think this’s (I’m sorry to say) the dumbest theory ever revealed. I’ve no idea at all why they can make this stupid theory. I think the theorists had forgotten three important fact that written in the Bible. First, the brand new, hewn out of solid rock tomb was owned by the rich man from Arimathea named Joseph a member of supreme council of the Jewish (Sanhedrin) who asked Pilate to take Jesus’ body for burial (Matthew 27: 57-60) the second thing, at the time, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary also were there (Matthew 27:61) And later after three days, those women went back to the same and exact location, as did the disciples who ran to see it by themselves when hearing from the women that the tomb was empty. The third, because of the concern that Jesus’ body will be stolen by Jesus’ disciples, then the leaders of the Jewish priest took extra precautions (Matthew 27:65). They ensured that Jesus’ tomb was guarded by groups of highly trained Roman soldiers with very strict rules. So I think those who made this theory weren’t smart enough made a theory! Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene and other Mary, the Roman soldiers, they all knew where the exact location of Jesus’ tomb! I’ve personal opinion about the tomb. Though until now still a debate about the precise location of the tomb, it doesn’t matter! For me personally, the reason why Jesus dead, it does matter!

The broken seal

Beside guarded by highly trained soldiers, Jesus’ tombs was also sealed with Roman seal. A seal represented the power and authority of the Roman Empire. Break the seal means dead! And the ruthlessness of Roman soldiers was well-known and feared so there was no one dares to break the tomb that automatically break the seal, and steal Jesus ‘body even by Jesus’ disciples! Actually, Jesus’ crucifixion made the disciples confused, afraid, and most of them were hiding. Even Peter, who swore he willing to die for Jesus, denied Jesus three times before the crucifixion!

The unusual stone position

There was unusual thing in the tomb. When the women and other people were approaching the tomb in the morning they found the unusual position of the rolled stone. To explain the stone position, Mark, in his gospel mentioned “Anakulio” from the root “Kulio” which mean “roll” So “Anakulio” (with preposition “Ana” means “to roll up a slope or an incline” I imagine something about this stone. It’s not too difficult a small number of men put the stone weighing one to two tons in place because typically the place in front of the tomb was sloped down. But isn’t so easy for a few men to roll the stone uphill to the slope. The unusual position of the rolled stone was another proof that Jesus’ body wasn’t stolen even by the disciples. It was so impossible for a few men roll the stone away secretly without being noticed by the Roman soldiers. Moreover, the tomb was guarded all the time. Periodically the guard would be exchanged.

The grave clothes

My beloved friends, actually the tomb wasn’t completely empty. Jesus was gone, but His grave clothes still there and became a silent witness and showed a supernatural nature of His resurrection. John in his gospel carefully explained the fact that the Jesus’ grave clothes were still in place. (John 20: 1-7) the grave clothes lay there as if Jesus’ body lifted out of the grave clothes. When buried, Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloth with aromatic spices mixed with a gummy substance called “myrrh” The myrrh will strongly adhered to Jesus’ body. Logically, let say the Jesus’ body was stolen; the thieves will work as fast as they can and take the Jesus’ body along with the grave clothes. It was so impossible and a ridiculous act the thieves take some time to separate the grave clothes and the body then again laid it out neatly.

My dear readers, after we’re reminded again by six important facts in the Jesus’ tomb that I submit in this post, I hope and pray there’s no more doubt in our heart and mind about the facts of Jesus’ resurrection and stop wasting our time and energy to think unneeded thing about Jesus’ resurrection. All theological facts have been completely written in the Bible even written by four apostles. Trustable and credible historical facts also have been found. Now is just a matter of our faith! Jesus’ resurrection among the dead is a foundation of Christian faith. It’s written in 1 Corinthians 15:14,

and if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

The resurrection of Christ made the apostles’ faith drastically growing so they were daring to proclaim the God’s word and they were willing to be martyr. Jesus’ resurrection was becoming a revival of their faith. I also earnestly pray what has happened to Jesus’ disciples at the time also happens to us. Maybe we don’t have to be martyr but we’re experiencing a resurrection of faith. Our faith becomes stronger in waiting for the next fulfillment of God’s prophecies and promises, and by faith keeps watch until His second coming.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:42)

And by the firm faith we’ve great longing to spread the truth of God’s word to all people especially to unbelievers so they repent, believe, be saved, and they become disciples of God, as Jesus commanded to us,

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

Happy resurrection day from me, my husband Kevin, and Andrew! God Bless!

Karina – Living by faith

Special thanks to Sister Sella Irene for the great suggestions

Image source: urantiansojourn.com

Best Friend Forever of GOD

BFF OF GOD - Karina's Thought

Hello my dear friends, once again my post this time talk about best friends. Do we need a best friend in our lives? I am strongly believed mostly of us would answer yes we need best friend. So it is with me! I have a very best friend named Kimiko. She lives in Japan. I have a close friendship with her since we were in college. Beside my Parents and Husband, she’s the one that really knows my secret. To her I could openly and shamelessly talk about everything, even something very personal. Our closeness sometimes exceeds our closeness with our own kin. We have a strong emotional bond. Believe it or not, she once suddenly phoned me in the early morning and said “I don’t know why, this morning I just feel you have a problem. Talk to me…” at the time yes she was true. I had a problem in the office. On the contrary, I also soon could feel if she currently has problems.

My dear friends, I pondered something. If having a best friend of human beings has been very delightful, what about have a very close friendship with our God? It’s something unimaginable how happy we are. The question is, is it possible? Isn’t God too great and cannot longer be reached by the human ability?  That’s right; God is so great, incomparable with the humans. But being a close friend of God isn’t something impossible but actually very possible. From the beginning God longs we could be His best friend but unfortunately man fall into the sin from the beginning. However, God didn’t stop waiting for our willingness to come to Him and got along closely with Him.

The bible clearly mentions some names that had a close relationship with God.  Let’s take a look one of them. Let’s pay attention to Enoch. Let’s have a look in Genesis 5:22a

So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.  And Enoch walked with God;

What an incredible close relationship! A great form of timeless relationship. We could see through this verse how Enoch was able to maintain a relationship with the Lord; live in harmony with God for so long. His faithfulness was tested in the long time span, more than of the normal human age.  Enoch lived in the broken era. He lived in the era before the world destroyed by the flood. Enoch lived in the days of the most evil. Human fell into the sin (Genesis 3), murder happened for the first time (Genesis 4), and finally the earth destroyed by the flood (Genesis 6). But in the world filled with sins, Enoch remain faithful live, made a friendship, and walk with God for very long time.  He wasn’t affected by the worldly temptation.  The Bible mentions the fact that Enoch walked with God for more than three hundred years. What happened to Enoch at the time? We all know that because of his very close relationship and walk with God faithfully; he didn’t experience a physical death. Enoch was taken away directly from the sinful world to Heaven with God forever.

And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:24)

The author of Hebrews then wrote again about Enoch:

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)

I took a bit time to imagine the fact of Enoch. He was taken away so that he didn’t see death. Wow!  I think it was a beautiful and great privilege that given by God to Enoch. He didn’t feel any pain or suffering before death. My dear friends, we might not experience the same thing like Enoch but when we make a very close relationship with God, we will also get privilege from God. What kind of privilege that we will get when we have very close relationship and always walk with God? In the book of Leviticus 10:3 God said:

‘I will display my holiness through those who come near me. I will display my glory before all the people.”

The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him, He teaches them his covenant. (Psalm 25:14)

By make a close relationship with God then God will open to us and show His Holiness and covenant. Another privilege is, let’s take a look to this verse:

Jesus said:” I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15)

Jesus said this thing not just for His disciples but also to us. He longs become our best friend and He started proactively with the concrete proof by sacrificing Himself to die on the cross for our sin. He really loves us as His true friend.

My beloved readers, what about us now? I do believe as a Christian we have placed God as a best friend in our lives and walk with Him. But the question is, how the quality of our relationship with God and what about our behavior when we get along closely with Him? Let’s go back to Enoch for a moment. I pondered the words “And Enoch walked with God” there are two important thing we can get from those words. First, normally if there are two best friends walked together, then they will talk and listen to each other. In this case, God talked with Enoch and Enoch heard God, and so did Enoch talked then God heard. Have we made a balance between talking and hearing? Well, we have to be honest that the fact is we more talking than hearing. Almost every day we moan about our lives problems. Or we are listening God talks just when we take a quiet time around one hour or even less in the morning. After that we will busy with our activities and we will forget about our fellowship with God. We tend to talk more than hearing. There is a reason why God gives us two ears and one mouth, God wants us listen more than talking to Him. God’s word said:

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

(James 1:19)

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

The second thing, have a close relationship and walk with God also mean that we are in line with God. We walk “side by side” with God with the same direction. “Enoch walk in God, not God walk with Enoch” So, it doesn’t mean God must follow the way as our will, but we must follow God’s way and everything we do must be in Him and only to glorify Him.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.(1 Corinthians 10:31)

A question to ponder, when we are facing the difficult situation, have we always choose God’s way or we tend to choose the worldly way? Often time worldly way seems more easy and simple than the God’s way. Choosing God’s way often need quite time, worldly way offers an instant solution.  Which way we choose? Remain walk in God or walk in the worldly way and then we will like a lost sheep as written in Isaiah 53:6:

And when we walk with God we will not go astray like sheep that choose their own way.

My beloved readers, allow me to end this post by encourage all of us to learn from Enoch’s life who always walked with God and faithfully get along closely with God. Next week we will commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Lord. Approaching of His resurrection day let’s take time for self-reflection. If we say we love Jesus the Lord, Have we make Jesus the Lord as our true friend in our lives and always make a very close relationship with Him every day? Have we been able to hear more His voice than asking Him to hear our voice? Which way we walk, walk in God’s way or worldly way? God may not take away us like He did to Enoch, but we have been awarded the greatest love in human life. God gave His only son died on the Cross to redeem our sins. This is a proof of how great His love as a true friend.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:14)

God doesn’t ask us to sacrifice our lives. He just longs and asks us to love Him earnestly and wholeheartedly, life in Him, has a very close relationship, and glorifies Him. Let’s make this Passover season to be a momentum to rebuild and renew our relationship with the Lord Jesus and truly make Him as a true friend, always walk with God in every step of our life. Always hear His voice more and do all which has been commanded by Him, and always maintain our intimacy with God through His word. Rebuild a healthy conversation with God through diligent prayer. Eventually people will know that we are the Best friend forever of God. Amen.

My beloved readers, although Easter day still a week away, allow me,  my husband, and our little son Andrew say, Joining you in gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice and the joyful renewal it brings to all God’s children this Easter season. Happy Easter! We love you all.

 

Karina – Living by faith

Image credit: http://www.firstfilmbc.org

 

 

What a Friend We Have In Jesus

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS -Karina's Thought

 

My post this time was inspired by a hymn song that I heard when I on my way from the church to my home this morning.  “What a friend we have in Jesus” A beautiful well-known hymn song composed by Joseph M. Scriven. Do you have many friends? I am very sure yes you have so many friends. So do I. I have so many friends, even friends from different country. I love make a friendship with everyone.  Friends could make my life more colorful, cheerful, and excited. But the question is how many true friend we have? I am pretty sure we don’t have much.  When I was teen my mother once said that, “It is so easy to find friends, but isn’t easy to find and have a true friends.  There is a difference between ordinary friends with true friends. An ordinary friend could easily come and go but the true friend is someone who always is there in any of our condition. The true friend is someone who could give us encouragement and motivation when we are weak. Could make us feel safe because we know that we are not alone, could be a good listener, strengthen, help, and comfort us when we are in grief. With a best friend we can laugh together, cry, arguing, even quarrelling, but will not leaving each other.”

“What a friend we have in Jesus” remind us that even though we have very best friend, there is a friend above of all. Jesus is an extraordinary true friend that we can find. We may have a very best friend but they are still human being who has weakness. There is a time they could disappoint us but not with The Lord Jesus. He will never disappoint us.  Jesus longs to be our true friend and He himself reached out His hand offers a true friendship with us. If to build a true friendship with humans already provide a lot of advantages and benefits, much less if the friendship that intertwined between us and Jesus. He said:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.

(John 15:15a NIV)

When I ponder this verse, I felt that I have a very big privilege. “I no longer call you servant” This is the first big privilege. Jesus not places us under Him. Jesus didn’t make a boundary between servant and master. He places us align with Him and made us a His friend. What are other privileges that we can get through making a friendship with Jesus? Let’s have a look together.

Love

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. (Proverb 17:17 NIV)

The Jesus’ love is always shed for us, whatever our condition, because He remains faithful. Jesus understands what became our struggle because He had suffered on this earth and bear all the sins of mankind sins. Jesus is always there for us, although as though He feels away, He is always there in our hearts. And He always listen our complaint and prayers. Anytime we want to confide, He always await us.

Sacrifice

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 NIV)

Jesus’ sacrifice cannot be doubted. His greatest love has been proven by His death on the cross. He willingly laid down His life to redeem all of our sins. Jesus is a true friend who really loves. We may have best friends but we may not have best friends who willing to sacrifice their lives for our sins. His redemptive work is cleans every sins that we confess before Him. His blood cleanses us and brings up to standard to be able to come into His presence with courage (Hebrews 10:19 NIV)

Closeness

… But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24b NIV)

When Job experience of suffering, all the family and friends left him, and even forget him. But there is one person who never left and forgotten Job, He is the Father in heaven. In our daily lives maybe we once experienced that our brethren left us in misery and at the time a companion even accompany us faithfully. So it is with Jesus. He will never leave and forget us. He always closes to us.

Receptiveness

 I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15b NIV)

 Friendships very close with receptiveness. There is no secret story to a true friend. Likewise, Jesus will reveal all the secrets of heaven to us His people. We shall know God’s heart, His messages, advises, and His reprimand because Jesus himself who will tell us. His extraordinary grace will be poured out for us, when we build a friendship with Jesus. He will guide us and show His bright ways to our lives. He will provide the way out for every of our problems.

Trust

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. (James 2:23 NIV)

Friendship contains a bond of trust. When we believe in Jesus, we become His friend and we become people who can be trusted by Him. Trust will lead to the provision of greater responsibility. We see that the Lord gives a remarkable promise to Abraham, and the promise was fulfilled.

Is it difficult to be Jesus’ friend?  Let’s see what the Bible say to answer this question. First, have a look to this verse:

The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. (Psalm 25:14 NLT)

Fear Him. This first condition that He wants from us to become His friend. What is next?

You are my friends if you do what I command. (John 15:14 NIV)

What kind of God’s command that we should to do? Let’s have a look at verse 12:

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

We will get privilege as Jesus’ friend we love each other as He loves us. Then, what other thing we have to do?

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

(James 4:4 NIV)

This verse clearly says that if we are friends with the world, we will become the enemy of God. This means that we should not be double-minded. We must choose to love God and to be His friend or loved the world and death as the consequences. (Romans 8:6-7 NIV)

I strongly believe that we all want and longing to make Jesus as a true friend and actually it is not difficult to be that way. It all is only depends on us. Whether we want to do all what is commanded by Him? Whether in our daily lives we have already fear Him? Have we loved each other as He loves us? Whether we are still friends of the world and love the worldliness things?

There was an inspiring story about friendship. There were two boys named Zac and Vincent. They were friends. When Zac was 6, he had the acute lymphoblastic leukemia and should take chemotherapy. Vincent as Zac’s best friend realized that the medical treatment for Zac was costly. Then he took the initiative to raise funds to help Zac’s medical treatment. He sold 20 scarves and was able to donate $200 to Zac’s family.  Vincent did not stop there, his sense of friendship also shown by coming to school with a shaved head. He said he did not want Zac feel weird having to bald alone, so he too shave his head.

If we make comparison between Vincent in that story with Jesus, Both of them did something for their friend. But Jesus not shaves His hair for us. Jesus did something greater and important than shaving hair. He willing to suffer endured terrible pain because tortured for many hours. He let His body covered in blood beaten and caned, and in His powerlessness He still had bear the cross. His Head wounded punctured with crown of the thorn. And finally He nailed and dead on the cross. For whom Jesus did all of that? For all of us! For what Jesus did it all? For redeem all of our sins! He paid it all of our sins that hinder our way to salvation by sacrificing Himself. Is there a friend like Jesus? If we have friends who are willing to suffer and sacrificing his own life for the sake of our salvation like Jesus did for us? I am afraid in this today world we cannot find a friend like Jesus.

My beloved readers, in His resurrection day, I ask all of us to ponder again where we place Jesus in our life? Whether we have been placed Jesus as our true friend? Or whether our heart are still ambiguous, even choose make a friend with the world? With all that Jesus has done for us, whether we are still hesitating to make Jesus as our true friend? In this Easter day, allow me to encourage all of us to always remember that God always longing and always reached out His hand to be our true friend. Human being still has weakness and limitations but neither to Jesus the Lord. There is a time human could let us down but neither to Jesus. Jesus has proven His perfect love to us through the great redemption work on the Cross. Jesus fulfilled all that was prophesied. In this Easter day let’s again examine ourselves. Have we become a true friend to Jesus? And if we have made Jesus as a true friend, whether we have done all His command? Let’s make this Passover to be a momentum to rebuild and renew our relationship with the Lord Jesus and truly make the Lord Jesus as a true friend. What a friend we have in Jesus. Amen

My dear friends, I, my husband Kevin, and our little precious Andrew says, wishing your Easter is decorated with love, peace, and joy of spring and the season’s blessings! HAPPY EASTER.

For more detailed story about Zac and Vincent please click here:

http://www.today.com/health/little-boy-shaves-head-comfort-best-friend-fighting-cancer-2D11975522

Karina – Living by faith

This post also can read in my other blog at http://karinalam.godinterest.org

Image source: http://www.theendlesslife.org

 

 

A Crown of Thorns

easter-2013

There was, upon this earth, a Savior
who came to cleanse and heal.
He wore a crown of thorns upon His head, Our souls to ever seal.

He gave up the crown of Glory
that was rightfully His, that day ~
that He came to earth to give
unto all men, a glorious stay.

He put aside His own sweet crown,
His signet ring that day,
That, maybe, all would come and walk
In His dear righteous way.

He loved us with a love so pure.
On His head He wore a crown of thorns,
That His love would cleanse the world
And man could be reborn.

Mighty is the name of this Savior,
Jesus. He redeemed the day
For all who would accept Him
And walk along His righteous way.

They hung Him upon
an old rugged Cross,
A thief on either side.
But, the day He comes back, again,
He’ll take us to be His bride.

If we give our Hearts to Him
Who bore our shame on Calvary’s Cross,
Though we’ve sinned o’er and o’er,
We’ll suffer no loss …

But, only if we claim Him as Savior
And are not filled with shame.
Then, that fateful day, in Glory,
He’ll proudly proclaim our name.

This is the love of one so dear ~
That He suffered agonizing pain
So, when this life on earth is over,
Through Him, we’ll be joined again.

By His tender mercies and pain
Of a crown of thorns upon His head,
He will raise us up to Glory, as was He
After they pronounced Him dead.

Easter Poem by  Pearlie Duncan Walker

The Empty Egg

 

Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind.

At the age of 12 he was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool, and make grunting noises.

At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain.

Most of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his teacher.

One day she called his parents and asked them to come in for a consultation. As the Forresters entered the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five year gap between his age and that of the other students.”

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.” Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. Here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that poor family, she thought. Lord, please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him.

“I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered … “Wh-why that’s very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat.”

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. “Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Miss Miller,” the children responded enthusiastically … all except for Jeremy. He listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk.

After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower.

“Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said.
“When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here.”

A small girl in the first row waved her arm.
“That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly which looked very real.

Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly.
Yes, that’s new life, too.”

Little Judy smiled proudly and said,
“Miss Miller, that one is mine.”

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it.

She explained that moss, too, showed life.

Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom “My daddy
helped me,” he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg.
She gasped.

The egg was empty.

Surely it must be Jeremy’s she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents.
Because she did not want to embarrass him,
she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up.
“Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?”

Flustered, Doris replied, “But Jeremy, your egg is empty.”

He looked into her eyes and said softly …
“Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty, too.”

Time stopped.

When she could speak again, Doris asked him,
“Do you know why the tomb was empty?”

“Oh, yes,” Jeremy said, “Jesus was killed and put in there.
Then His Father raised Him up.”

The recess bell rang.
While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard …
Doris cried.
The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later, Jeremy died.
Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket … all of them empty

source : http://www.fathershands.com

Easter Blessings

 

 

I must share a true story that is so miraculous, so inspiring, that it must be known… I hope to lift your spirits and create a bright light for you and within you when you read this incredible story!Do you still believe goodness and abundance can blossom in the midst of challenging circumstance? As a child, I learned that there was wonder and brilliance, but I also learned the reality of intense sadness and pain in the world. More than anything, my parents wanted me to believe that good could prevail; they wanted me to believe that no matter what, even in the darkest of places, beauty and love could bloom.

When I was seventeen, I was handed a newspaper clipping. It was one of the most painful things I had ever read, about a little 2-year-old baby by himself in the closet of his home, playing with a Bic lighter (at the time, there were no child-proof safety latches). Within seconds the entire closet and all the clothes were consumed in fire around him; he was completely helpless. His body was burned so completely, the doctors didn’t know if this small child would live.I was so affected by this story. I remember the feeling vividly. I was touched and felt deeply connected with this little boy. I didn’t know what it was, but something about the story would not let go of me. It was one of those situations where you pause and think, “There is no good that can come from this. There is no reason. There is no way.” I felt hopeless. I carried that story with me my whole life and never forgot that little baby.

I could not have known that years later, at age 32, I would be burned. I too was consumed by fire all around me in an enclosed space. I was watching myself in a horrific scene – burning alive. I was trapped and unable to breathe when a total stranger ran towards the colossal blaze, kicked in the window and saved my life. The pain I went through was beyond my ability to explain. I should be dead, but I came through. I healed.

After my accident, I understood at the deepest levels the needs of other burn survivors. I was compelled to create a program for teens with burn injuries, and with the help of volunteers, my dream became reality. The program has been running for over a decade now, through the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colorado. The minute these kids get off the plane, there’s a jam-packed schedule. They go to snowboarding and skiing lessons. They go dog sledding, ice climbing, rock climbing and snowshoeing at night… The week is full of adventure. It’s an incredible thing, a privilege, to spend time with these remarkable young people; year after year, we’ve healed together. I’ve witnessed again and again how the right attitude changes everything.

One participant was an extraordinary young man named CJ. His face and body were burned in totality, and his fingers were gone except for nubs an inch above the palm, but he did have one knuckle- and a very charismatic smile. Year after year, he was the guy who would show up and throw a party for everyone. He’d play the music. He’d get the snacks. He’d spread the word. He was that person who walked into the room with such a quiet assuredness that you quickly forgot he was burned; his love just burst out of his body. He is in his twenties now and is an amazing person.One day I was on the phone with CJ. We were talking about life, brainstorming ideas, catching up. “CJ,” I said, “All these years I’ve known you, we’ve always had fun when we talk… But I never asked you what your story was. How were you burned?”He paused, “Did you ever hear the story of the baby with the Bic lighter? That was me.”

I was silenced.It took me two weeks to call him back. I was so stunned. I finally contacted him and told him how I knew of his story when he was just two. We were both speechless. There was love there. It was real. My whole life, I needed to know if that little baby was okay. Not only is he okay, he’s an incredible person. He’s my friend.

Even in the most painful of places, in the most tragic and horrific of stories, love and beauty can unfold in ways we never imagined. Life carries poetry. This is a reminder to watch for the goodness – to pay attention. Don’t let the poetry of life pass you by. Turn the pages of life with expectation for magic, because the miraculous is budding everywhere.

Written by Allison Massari

www.AllisonMassari.com