(Quotient Quizes #13) A few years ago, a man received a letter from his state’s Department of Social Services. It read, “Your food stamps will be stopped effective immediately because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.”
On the surface it seems an absurd suggestion that a dead person might want to reapply. Everybody knows that when people die, that’s the end of the story. How can a deceased person change his circumstances?
That is truly what Easter is all about! Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can have life after we die. Hundreds of witnesses saw Jesus die on the cross on Good Friday. Hundreds of witnesses saw His dead body being carried to a tomb and a stone rolled over the entrance of the tomb. That’s the end of the story! He’s dead. That’s it. But then on that first Easter Sunday, people encountered Jesus ALIVE. Read Luke 24:13-35 about the two men walking to Emmaus. They became excited and shared the message. Many people realized that death was not the end.
Here’s the good part – Jesus said, “Because I live, you also shall live” (John 14:19). Did you hear that? Easter affects every one of us. We too can live after death!
Rev. Wally Rendel was pastor of Southern Acres Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He writes, “Our daughter, Jill Marie Rendel, was a senior at the Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary, preparing for a children’s ministry position in a local church. In 1993 she was traveling with the girls basketball team heading for Battle Creek, Michigan and a tournament. On icy roads the driver lost control. The school van spun out of control and overturned several times. Jill was thrown out and crushed to death. Only four days earlier, on the college campus, his popular daughter had been crowned Homecoming Queen. As word spread of her death someone remarked – “The queen has gone to meet the King.”
I feel the tenderness of this pastor writing about the death of his beloved daughter who had just been crowned homecoming queen. It’s also a remarkable statement of his faith and hope to know that “the queen has gone to meet the King.”
That’s the foundation of the Christian faith. Because of Jesus, death has been defeated. The grave is not our final destination or residence! Nothing else in life can guarantee that!
A little boy’s father was driving down a country road on a beautiful Spring afternoon. A bee flew into the car window. The little boy was allergic to bee stings, and the sight of the bee terrified him. The father quickly reached out and grabbed the bee, squeezed it in his hand and released it. The boy grew frantic as it once again buzzed by him. The father reached out his hand, but this time he pointed to his palm. There, stuck in his skin was the bee’s stinger. The father said, “Do you see this? You don’t need to be afraid anymore. I’ve taken the sting for you.”
We don’t need to be afraid anymore of death. God has taken the “sting” out of it. That is why the apostle Paul could write of death, “O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:55-57).
Jesus is ALIVE, and because He is, we too can live. Sing (or shout) the chorus of “Because He Lives!”
“Because He lives / I can face tomorrow / Because He lives / All fear is gone / Because I know / He holds the future / And life is worth the living /Just because He lives.” © 1971 William J. Gaither
What’s your RQ – Resurrection Quotient?