Easter is sometimes called resurrection Sunday. Belief in a bodily resurrection extends clear back to the time of Abraham. Job, a contemporary of Abraham, had this to say:
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God.” Job 19:25-26
Today, the hope of a bodily resurrection remains the greatest single desire for those who wish to live beyond the grave; to have their slate wiped clean of heartaches, defects and maladies; to once again be able to converse with lost friends and loved ones. How can we be sure there will be a bodily resurrection for every believer in Jesus Christ? The gospel of John records these words of Jesus just before the bodily resurrection of Lazarus:
Jesus said to her [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…” John 11:25
After the Israelites crossed the Jordan river, Joshua commanded the people to carry 12 large stones up out of the river and pile them up on the shore as a memorial. Then, when someone asks, “What do these 12 stones mean?” tell themhow the Lord cut off the flow of the Jordan and let the Israelites cross over into the promised land.
This event occurred on the 10th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar (Joshua 4:19) marking the end of the Exodus (the date 40 years earlier the people of Israel left Egypt (Exodus 12:3)). The message: God will finish the work He starts.
Followers of Jesus celebrate communion, “Do this in remembrance of me,” to remind us what God has done for us through his Son. The cross of Christ demonstrates God can accomplish the impossible in our lives if we will let Him.
And like the people of Israel we must be ready to tell those who ask us, “what is the reason for the hope that lies within you?” 1 Peter 3:15.
Looking back over my life, I recall numerous situations a proverbial line in the sand has been drawn. For most of my life I have been exploring the boundaries created by them.
As a child, my sister and I shared the back seat in the family station wagon. One of us invariably drew an imaginary line separating her space from mine. Quarrels began when the line was crossed, even if breeched by a single finger.
As I grew older is spent a good deal of my time trying to test the line of acceptable behavior my parents had laid down. I learned there were negative consequences for crossing their line.
When I entered adulthood, and set off on my own, I realized there was a line separating the life I had already realized from things I had yet to experience (marriage, career, raising children, etc.). With trepidation I launched myself across this line and into the great unknown.
Ash Wednesday occurs this coming week. It marks the start of a 40-day period referred to as Lent leading up to Easter Sunday. Those who observe Lent usually do so by abstaining from a materialistic vice (i.e. chocolate, red meat, television, etc.) or affirming a spiritual virtue (devotions, prayer, etc.).
Since my couch to 5k experience to date has been marked by physical, mental and spiritual wellness, I have decided to choose Ash Wednesday as a starting line I intend to cross!