Spiritual Food – Window on the World
"The Grave Is Empty"
“O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory?”
“The Holy Bible - I Corinthians 15 – 55”
Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the grave is the ultimate eternal hope of salvation for His follower the world over. And if this eternal hope promised by the mighty Word of God in the Holy Bible is undermined, and that is also by a Christian religious head is the most shocking for the Christians. The statement of the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, leader of the world’s 70 million Anglican Christians published in “The Mail”, London August 1, 1999 and subsequently flashed in the Indian newspapers did undermine the basic tenet of Christian belief. In his millennial message addressed to the Anglican masses, he said, "we cannot say with the same certainty that as we know that Lord Jesus Christ was raised by God from the dead" had sent shock waves amongst faithful Christians the world over.
The basic tenet of Christian faith lies in the book of Romans – Chapter 10: 9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that GOD has raised Him from dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. So, my dear brothers and sisters in Lord Jesus Christ if we are not sure that our Lord Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead by GOD, we have received no salvation and our Christian faith is futile and baseless.
But we praise the Lord that He had already alerted us through the Holy Bible in advance. In the book of St. Jude Chapter 1- verses 3- 4, it is written, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write you concerning our common Salvation. I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for faith which was one for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept (entered) in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God in to licentiousness and deny the only GOD and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Clarifying the importance of Christ’s resurrection Saint Paul while addressing to the Church in I Corinthians he clears the doubt of resurrection of dead in Chapter 15 as was in the minds of people of Corinthians. He said in verses 3-4, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I received; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once. After that by James, then by all the apostles. And in Verse 8 St. Paul says that He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ the raising of Jesus from dead is the beginning of the last phase of human history. It is the decisive break with a past in which death was all powerful and the herald of a new future in which life is eternal. This future, however, does not yet exist as far as all Christians are concerned. They do not pass directly from this life to the next. Christ’s resurrection is a pledge of what is to come. It is a GUARANTEE that they will rise from the dead. But in the meanwhile they have to live and die in hope. The period of waiting will end when our Saviour Lord Jesus Christ returns in His glory. St. Paul gave a graphic description of this moment in his first letter, “The heaven with a shout of command…and the dead in Christ will arise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, shall caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall always be with the Lord.”(I Thessalonians 4-16-17). Amen! Hallelujah let us shout with St. Paul……..
“O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory” as the grave of our Saviour is empty.
Wish You Happy Easter 2003!
Rev Isaac Newton Johnson Click here
The above article published in 15th April, 2003 Easter issue of Masihi Sansar (Christian World) newspaper. Freddi Joseph, Chief Editor “Masihi Sansar” (Christian World) Newspaper, Lamba Pind, Jalandar, India.