Friday, May 24, 2013
Oaks of Righteousness
In Romans 1, when we look at the original Greek, we find, “Jesus is declared to be the Son of God...by the resurrection of the dead.” Who are people raised from the dead? They are us. We see the beginnings of it in Matthew 27. When Jesus dies, the veil of the temple is rent from top to bottom, there is a great earthquake and the rocks are split, the “bodies of the saints rise from the dead” and when Jesus is raised they “appear to many” in the holy city. But this was only the start, because in Jerusalem and in all the nations of the earth God’s clarion call grows louder and sweeter still, for he raises those dead in their sins to life, “when we were dead in our sins, he has made us alive together with the Anointed One.” When you go to church this Sunday, look around at your fellow believers in the pews: They are the proof that God’s justice has come and is coming.
Put it another way: Do you ever wonder why Paul does not despair when he sees his beloved brothers and sisters felled where they stand by the powers that be? After all Paul is just as capable of sadness as any one of us. Yet in the very place where you would expect him to be filled with despair, he writes these triumphant words, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8). Last week in Pierce County we saw despotism vividly illustrated when the trees on the courthouse lawn were cut down. But it will not stop with trees, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”(Ephesians 6) and these powers seek the destruction of humanity, body and soul. Moreover, these powers are too much for us, they are “hands too strong for us.” (Jeremiah 31) Should we then despair? We must not, and even more, we are prevented from despair. We are prevented from despair by seeing all around us, the dead that the Lord God has raised through his justice on the cross. There is no one who assembles with the saints on Sunday, or who believes or even wants the Lord Jesus in his life who has NOT been raised from the dead. We sinners, realize that no argument ever got through to us. We destroyed others and we destroyed ourselves. People who love us talked themselves blue, but we ignored it. Only the word of the Lord got through. Only the word of the cross raised us from death to life. Christians have many weaknesses and sins. Our churches are hospitals. But Christians, whatever their faults are the living proof that the dominoes are falling. It started with the veil being torn from top to bottom and it continues, as one by one people come into the kingdom. Nothing can stop God’s justice. His justice through the establishment of Jesus on the cross set off a chain reaction that nothing can stop. Trees can be cut down but nothing can stop the restoration of all things, nothing can stop him who raises the dead to life, nothing can stop the hand that heals and nothing can stop the world to come. And by “world to come,” I do not necessarily mean the end of the world, but rather the new world that is coming in. We forget that our Savior is alive and is on the move, “all the the trees of the field shall clap their hands” and we ourselves shall be “oaks of righteousness.” We see the proof of its coming all around us.
Posted by Amy at 10:05 AM