Earthly rags


Even though Easter Sunday was just three day ago, the power of the ‘resurrection morning’ is still in my mind. This reminds me of the story about a Russian communist Nikolai Bukharin who journeyed from Moscow to Kiev to address a huge assembly. His topic was Atheism-there is no God. For one solid hour he presented his arguments against Christianity. After his speech he asked his audience: “Are there any questions?” In fact he demanded some questions. Then there was a great silence….. One courageous man stood up and asked permission to speak. He climbed the platform and moved closer to Bukharin. The whole assembly was in absolute silence….as the man surveyed the whole auditorium-first looking to the right, then slowly to the left. Total silence….and every one had mixed feelings. Then…suddenly, he shouted the ancient Russian Orthodox greeting on Easter morning “CHRIST IS RISEN” (already translated). To the surprise of every one especially Bukharin, the vast assembly arose as one man and the response came crashing like the sound of a thunder, “HE IS RISEN INDEED.” Bukharin lost all his arguments.

The cross is the unifying symbol of Christianity, but the empty tomb is our assurance that we serve a risen Saviour. Because He lives, we shall live also. Have you ever wonder why Jesus abandoned His grave clothe? He arose in the body in which He was crucified, but he left His grave cloth behind. Matthew Henry said that “Christ left His grave clothe behind him at the tomb. What clothes he appeared in to his disciples we are not told. But he never appeared in his grave clothe, he laid them aside.” Why? Some answer it this way: a) Because He arose to die no more. Death has no more power over Him (Rom.6:9). On the other hand Lazarus came out with a grave clothe on, perhaps to use them again. But Jesus rising from the grave to immortal life, came out free from the things that could be ruined and destroyed. b) Another reason, because Christ is going to be clothed with the robes of glory, thus he laid aside the ‘earthly rags.’ Do you remember what Elijah did when the chariot of fire took him to heaven? The ascending Elijah dropped his mantle. C) To us Christians as an application-when we became a new creation, rising from death of sin to the new life of righteousness, we are admonished to leave our ‘grave clothes’ behind us. We must put off all our corruptions (See Colossians 3). The impact of Easter in our modern day life is that—because we are now risen with Christ, we should ‘walk in the newness of life.’ This is possible by God’s grace. He saved us by His awesome grace, He can mould and purify us by the power of the Spirit of grace. All by grace and by grace alone. God loves you—He always has and He always will.

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