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Thursday, April 30, 2015

A New Chapter Began

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (1 Corinthians 15:20)

Now, when we look at the Gospels we not an odd - and wonderful - thing. An extra chapter is added. Why?

Biography, by its own definition, must confine itself to the record of the life of an individual. That part of the book which deals with the family tree is not biography, but history, and that part which follows the record of the subject's death is not biography either. It may be appraisal, or eulogy, or criticism, but not biography, for the reason that the "bios" is gone: the subject is dead. The part that tells of his death is properly the last chapter.

The only place in world literature where this order is broken is in the four Gospels.

Then, for the only time in this history of human thought, a biographer adds to his book a new section which is authentic biography and begins to write a chapter to follow the last chapter. This time the story did not end with a funeral.

That next chapter after the last is the source of all the Christian's hope, for it assures us that our Lord has put death in its place and has delivered us from the ancient curse. Death did not end the activities of our Lord. After three days, His spirit was reunited with His body and the new chapter began, the chapter which can have no ending!

Thank You, God, that because of Jesus I have hope of another chapter after this one is closed. Amen


The Inscrutable Resurrection

"Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." (Matthew 28:5-6)

A soldier has been overseas two or three years and is not on his way home. As he gets closer to his native shores anticipation mounts in his heart. He visualizes the joyous meeting soon to take place. He pictures his mother, his sister, his wife, and he smiles as he thinks of how much his little son may have grown since he saw him last. Intelligence dictates a slight difference in the appearance of his loved ones. He knows they will have changed, and he tries to adjust his mental image accordingly. He thus visualizes an event which has not yet occurred by drawing on past experience.

It is right here that thought breaks down when it comes to the resurrection. We have no experience to guide us. When Christ rose from the dead He did what no one had ever done before. We cannot imagine how He accomplished the miracle. We are not even sure exactly what wonderful thing happened there in the silence of Joseph's new tomb. That He came forth, alive forevermore, has been the firmly settled faith of the Church from the beginning. How He accomplished it is a secret locked in the mind of God. We should remember the wise admonition of John Wesley: "Let us not doubt a fact because we do not know how it was accomplished." The resurrection of Christ is a fact. More than that we need not know.

Lord, I accept Your authoritative Word that Jesus rose from the dead; I do not need to know how. I know that I serve a living Saviour. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

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