Sunday, September 26, 2010

Looking at Graves

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Matthew tells us in the last chapter of his Gospel that the two Marys came early in the morning, “to look at the grave.” We can picture the sorrowful scene –two women in the gray dawn standing helplessly, contemplating the tomb. There was nothing left to hope for, nothing to see but a rock. We can see their drawn faces, bowed heads, the sag of their shoulders. Can we possibly picture those faces when there came a sudden earthquake, the descent of an angel, and the stone was rolled away from the grave? The angel was so dazzling, the guards (tough men, surly, and not the least sorrowing like the women) collapsed in terror. The angel addressed the women: “You ..have nothing to fear… He has been raised…” (Matt. 28:5,7). A few minutes later Jesus suddenly stood in their path.

We sometimes find ourselves looking at a “grave” –the end of all our hopes. We are helpless, defeated. Our faces are long, our shoulders droop. What difference it would make then if, by faith, we would lift up our eyes to see the bright angel and the risen Savior. We really have nothing to fear – He has risen, exactly as He said. What a defeat His crucifixion seemed. What a triumph His resurrection was – and is, forever.

Don’t look at the grave. Look up. Jesus stands risen beside you, alive forever! Then think of His comforting word: “And be assured, I am with you always, to the end of time” (Matt. 28:20).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Unimaginable Solutions

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Spectators at the cross of Calvary imagined a dramatic escape or rescue as the proof of Jesus’ kingship. God had an infinitely greater demonstration in mind. The Son would not manage to escape from the hands of His captors or from the nails and wood that held Him, nor would someone else come to His rescue. He would go through the last extremity of what it means to be human, and by that very means, by death itself, would destroy the power of death. He would become, by His obedient dying , the “Death of Death” and “Hell’s Destruction.”

When we, in our "lesser miseries," plead for escape or rescue, what unimaginable "solutions" God has stored up for us! But often, in response to our pleadings, the word is Trust Me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What is Trust?

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

To the unbeliever, the notion of “trust” in God is a challenge to Him to grant what one wants. When Jesus hung nailed to the cross, passerby hurled abuse at Him: “Come down. Save yourself!” The chief priests, lawyers and elders (learned, logical leaders) mocked Him: “King of Israel, indeed! Let Him come down now from the cross and then we will believe Him. Did He trust in God? Let God rescue Him.” (Matt. 27:42-43).

Real trust yields utterly to the one trusted. All desire is turned over to that one, believing his ability to manage, control, and finally to accomplish what is best. When we pray, we should beware lest we line ourselves up with the mockers of Jesus---“If You do such and such, then I will trust You!” We need to learn rather to let God rescue us in His own way. It may not be escape from suffering, but death---followed by so much more glorious a rescue---resurrection!

Lord, teach me this trust.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Way Appointed

It was at the supper with Jesus’ disciples, on the night before He was crucified, that He told them He was going “the way appointed.” That meant betrayal, by one of the very men sharing the same meal with Him, and crucifixion, at the hands of others who had arranged to pay this man. Yet in and through those terrible things that were to happen to Him, Jesus never for a moment thought of Himself as solely in their hands, at their mercy. He was held in the will of the Father. There was sovereign purpose in it all; the way He must travel was no accident of fate. It was appointed, assigned, a date with destiny. He accepted it as such.

What agonies we would spare ourselves if we would remember that ours, too, is a way appointed. We need not ever imagine that our circumstances are in any other hands than those that held the beloved Son obedient unto death.