Sunday, April 4, 2010
the better resurrection...
"WE, to-day, dear friends, enter into this region of faith. We also are risen with Christ. We sit in heavenly places with him. For heaven is not a place far off, above the skies, somewhere outside of the orbit of Saturn and Neptune; but it is a world of spiritual life all around us. Christ has abolished death to all who believe in him. Those who believe in him do not die : they go on, they go in, they go up.
While the disciples at Emmaus were talking with their Master, their eyes were opened, and they knew him. While we talk with Jesus on this Easter Sunday, our eyes are opened, and we know him. He is our friend, the friend of every soul that needs him. He is the friend of every poor, sinful, broken heart that thinks it has no friend on earth. He is the friend of all who wish to have his help. The true Christ is not in the past: he is here. He is not dead and gone : behold 1 he is alive forevermore. He has not come merely to give us a right to be with him in some future heaven. He has brought heaven down to us here. He is with us always, even to the end of the world.
Therefore, on this Easter Sunday morning, while its sun shines so brightly around us, let us all thank God, and take courage. Let us not look backward, but forward; not downward, but upward; not be desponding, but hopeful. Are there any of us here who feel lonely, bereaved, desolate ? Behold! the heavens are opened, and an innumerable company of friends are waiting for you to welcome you when you go up, and lead you to him who liveth and was dead, and is alive forevermore. Are there any of us who are hesitating to do what we know to be right, not ready yet to do our duty, still postponing till to-morrow what we ought to do to-day ? Let us on this bright Easter morning begin to do our work in full faith that God will enable us to accomplish it in this or in some other world. O weary heart, arise and be strong ! Sad soul, be glad to-day, for Christ has arisen ! Sinful soul, turn to God, and forsake your sins, and be made alive ! Take part in the better resurrection, which lifts out of evil into good. Make this day the beginning of a new life, which shall never know any end, but shine brighter to the perfect day."
(Painting is "Christ on the Road to Emmaus" by Roghman Roelant