As we leave the Lenten and Easter seasons, we never leave the images they project and the truth they brand into our faith walk. Struggle, journey, opposition, false praise, betrayal, painful prayer, torture, false accusation, execution, true forgiveness, universal availability, a lowly burial, a glorious resurrection and true victory are just a few of these images. It almost seems distant and disappointing to return to study of the Revelation. But wait ... I think you will find it very appropriate.
As we finish chapter 11 ans enter chapter 12 there is a stark image we all associate with the Revelation ... the pregnant woman, her baby and the dragon. We will flesh out these images on Sunday, but I want to stop on one image that is very appropriate for this week during which we have worshiped and celebrated the Risen Christ. That image is one of a messianic figure (the baby) being snatched away from Satan. That is truly a post-Easter image.
As the power of God brings Jesus to new life and His resurrection body we sometimes fail to think about God snatching Jesus out of the hands of Satan ... out of the grip of death ... out of the grave ... out of that sealed tomb. John, in verse 12:1, calls it "an event of great significance." That is not only amazing ... it is so applicable to us as we walk through this day and every day.
This was my first Easter without my dad. Others share that emotion as they go through significant seasons of the year without those that they have loved for so long. That thought could bring sorrow. It could bring us a touch of depression and feeling sorry for ourselves. But ... let's think about that "significant event." When God snatched Jesus out of the grip of all those negative things I listed earlier in this blog and, ultimately, the power that many fear every day (death), He didn't just snatch up His son. He also took all of those who claimed His Son with Him. While we share in Jesus' humanity and many of the negative things He faced on this earth, we also share in that beautiful thing called resurrection. As we sang "I'm alive, I'm alive, because He lives" I remembered singing that song with my friend Jackie (now with God because of that "significant event"). So Buddy, Lowell, and, of course, Fulton ... I hope you are rejoicing over what Jesus did for you. I hope you are asking Jesus to put in a good word for those of us still messing up from time to time. I am expectantly laughing about the look on your faces when heaven was so much better than our image-pool allows us to imagine. And I look to the day I will see you again and, in a very significant event for Randy, see Jesus face-to-face. AMEN!