To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; To seek Him, the greatest
adventure; To find Him, the greatest human achievement. ~
April arrives and Resurrection infuses my thoughts. Not
only does new life and immortality reign in every sprig of April green and flower that adorn our Shenandoah Valley, but creatures
long absent animate our part of the world with new life and evidence that life goes on.
For some years now, my friend Rosemary, who lives on the southernmost tip of New Zealand, has written faithfully at
this time of year about how autumn arrives there south of the equator. It is
a reminder to me of Isaiah’s poetic words that our Creator “sits above the circle of the earth and stretches out
the heavens like a curtain….Lift up your eyes on high” cries Isaiah “And see who created these things, Who
brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not
one is missing.” (Isaiah 40:22, 26).
1976, a Red Cross typhoon disaster operation took me to Guam, after which I visited the Holy Land. During a tour to Jerusalem, we stopped at the Garden Tomb, the spot believed to be the actual burial place
of Jesus. It is located next to Gordon’s Calvary, that strange rock outcropping that appears to be worn into the shape
of a skull, also believed the very spot of the crucifixion. The Garden Tomb is
located about a hundred yards from Gordon’s Calvary in a beautiful garden built over an ancient Roman aqueduct. To your
left as you enter is a typical first-century tomb dug into the hillside. Faint
markings left by Christian pilgrims from earlier centuries are on the walls. There
is no body to be found in this tomb. Whoever was buried there evidently left a long time ago. The Garden Tomb is empty! As you exit back into the sunlight, your eyes fasten upon a wooden sign: “Why
seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, for He is risen, as He said.”
And Jesus had also promised: “Because I live, you will live also.”—the great glad good news of Easter.
There was once a flood called Calvary.
And all the bitterness and ugliness, all the shame and sorrow of life, entered into that flood, and came beating around
the brave soul of Jesus, sweeping Him down at last to the barbarity and infamy of the death on the cross. “What can God have been doing?” we want to ask. “Was
He asleep? Or on a journey? Or was
He dead?” No! The Lord
was sitting as King of the flood, that surging flood of Calvary; and out of that grim cross He has brought the salvation of the world. Tell me – if God
did that with the cross of Jesus, do you think your cross can be too difficult for Him to deal with, and to transfigure? He can make it shine with glory. James
Stewart, The Gates of New Life.
He (Jesus) was supreme in the beginning and—leading the
resurrection parade—He is supreme in the end. From beginning to end He’s there, towering far above everything,
everyone. So spacious is He, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in Him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals
and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of His death, His blood that poured
down from the cross. (From
Eugene Peterson’s translation of Colossians 1:13-20 in The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language)
End of the Day