“When we separate the catastrophe of death from the victory of Christ, we accept the sickness and reject the medicine.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 7, 2022
Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. Ezekiel 37:12, ESV
In the Easter Season, we rightly reflect in multiple ways upon the reality and power of the Resurrection of Christ. If the empty tomb is for us limited to a single day of the year, or even a season of remembrance, we’ve likely underestimated the true power of Christ’s victory over death. Similarly, if his power over the grave does not impact and animate your lived reality, day by day, you are missing out on the very purpose for which he died and rose again!
Graves, by their very nature, are meant to be closed. There is a harrowing permanency that comes with placing the body of a loved one into the ground. We feel in the core of our being that this is not right, going against everything we believe is good and true in this world. In an effort to comfort our grief stricken souls, we at times may make an attempt at words of comfort, saying they are “set free” or “no longer bound.” While the sentiment is understandable, it undermines the true reality of death and it’s devastation. As the 20th Century Russian theologian Georges Florovsky once said, “Death is not a release, it is a catastrophe.”
When we separate the catastrophe of death from the victory of Christ, we accept the sickness and reject the medicine.
How often do we live with a fatalistic resignation to the reality and inevitability of death? This is true not only of bodily death, but of our own sins and struggles, failures and regrets. We build emotional and relational graves throughout our lives, sealing and burying our pain at every turn, pressing it deeper and deeper into the recesses of our hearts and lives, hoping it will be forgotten and never surface again. Yet is this truly a picture of the Christian life? Is this the way in which Christ is inviting us to walk? Is this Resurrection?
If Christ is raised from the dead, then the permanent seal of a grave is broken. This is true of his defeat of bodily death, opening for us the hope of new life in him, yet it is also true of the countless graves we dig throughout our lives. Christ is inviting us into a life of radical vulnerability, unearthing our deepest wounds and bringing our full selves to his empty tomb, believing he longs to raise us from these graves, giving us a taste of the kingdom that is to come.
Father, reveal to us the power of Christ’s resurrection, and the transformation and healing it brings into every area of our lives, here in the present and for eternity. Amen.
What grave in your life does the Lord long to open so that it can be brought back to life?
Isaiah 26:19; Isaiah 66:14; Hosea 13:14
Jeremy Riddle: Fall Afresh
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