Sunday, April 16, 2006

Imagine: Someone You know Rising from the Dead

Imagine the feeling....

You have just experienced the biggest letdown of your life, because the man you have known, loved and followed as a mentor for the past three years, has just been arrested, beaten, publicly tortured and finally executed in the most humilating fashion possible in the city streets.

You've spent the past two days in hiding for fear that the government might come after you next, because everybody knows you were one of "his followers." You only have the cold isolation of your hiding place to keep you company in your sorrow. All you have been able to do is pray and feel your life ripped apart in silent anguish, for fear of alerting anyone of your secret refuge.

Then the Word comes....his body has been discovered missing from his place of initial burial. One of your friends, and fellow disciples of this man, has even reported that he is alive and walking again among the living! You struggle with mixed feeling of joy and disbelief about this, 'cause after all dead is it not? I've never seen a dead man walking...except of course for that fellow you met months back. What was his name? Lazarus...yes Lazarus... and he was apparently raised from death by your mentor, though some of us had our doubts!

Then it happens...after you and your friends have mustered enough courage to come out of hiding to meet, (even though it is in a secret as not to attract attention), he's there! Seeing him in the flesh, you suddenly think of every person who you've lost to death and the dreams you've had about just being able to see and speak with them, one last time. You recall how joyful and peaceful this makes you feel, upon waking up. But now this feeling of Joy and Peace is multiplied 100 times, because this isn't a dream...he's really here in front of you. You have touched him, talked with him, seen the scars from the whipping and stabbing he suffered. You've even see him consuming food in front of this can't just be some kind of spirit that you've heard about 100's of times in tales around the camp-fire. He starts to tell all of you, about where we will go after death and what it's like...because he's been there, he's seen it's glory for himself!

Then after a few weeks of his presence he tells you he is leaving you to join his father in that next place, but he will save a spot for you there and you feel momentarily sad because he will be departing again. But somehow still his presence is with you and within you and you vow to always remember how you felt on this day...the day you discovered that you had met, known and could talk to the living God. And this provides you with peace, joy, strength and security for the rest of your life, in both good times and bad.

Just imagine the feeling...!

copyright Robert James Luedke, 2006

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