BECAUSE HE LIVES
Bible Text: Ruth 1:1-5, 19-20; Rev. 1:8, 18; Jn. 20:19-20 | The story of Ruth occurred during the time of the judges. It was a time when every man did that which was right in his eyes. It was in such a lawless society that this great woman lived, though knew little about the person of God and His attributes. Hence her faithless and sorrowful confession “call me not Naomi, call me Mara for the Almighty hast dealt very bitterly with me”
Ignorance and lack of understanding of both the ways and the acts of God have been the same among many as they consider the past, present and future in our world abounding in iniquities, difficulties, crises and confusion. Unfortunately, some have turned their backs in compromise, while others in utter confusion and bitterness of heart like Job seem to be saying “cursed be the day I was born …”
Yet the Lord, who knows our frame, that we are dust and ashes, spoke through His Son Jesus Christ to the displaced and afflicted, words of comfort, consolation and freedom; Hear Him! (Rev. 1:18). He is our Foundation and Anchor in a drifting world because He lives inside us and by our side. The uncertainty of yesterday, today and the future will give way to a life of joy and peace (in our material, spiritual and physical well-being) in Jesus’ name.
We will be considering the message under two subheadings: (1). His Works Before and After His Resurrection and (2). The Implication of the Keys of Hell and of Death.
His Works Before and After His Resurrection (Rev. 1:8, 18; Matt. 11:2-5). Now, when John heard in the prison (a place from which somebody cannot escape, or where one is confined in an enclosure contrary to one’s wish) the works of Christ, being completely overwhelmed about the uncertainty of the future in the prison custody he asked a question many seem to be asking today, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another …?” John the Baptist had suffered a major setback both in his life and ministerial work not as punishment of a crime committed but for righteousness’ sake. Besides, the apostles suffered self-imprisonment because of prevailing circumstances of the time they lived.
The trying times in which we live demand that believers focus their attention and look upon Him, whose works before and after His resurrection were perfect. And except we lean upon Him in abiding faith, hope and confidence, despite the present problems and perplexing situation, one may be tempted to ask questions like John the Baptist. To all who are presently at crossroads (spiritual, physical) and as a result are at the verge of going back, He says, “blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me”. Remember the multitudes who came to Him had pleasant experiences of diverse kinds (Matt. 11:4-5). After His resurrection, He visited to those who were in “self-imprisonment” without hope and in utter confusion, and declared; “peace be unto you”… Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord (Jn. 20:19-20). In any tunnel, valley, self-imprisonment of health, business, academics, dream or needs of any kinds you are into, “peace be unto you” says He Who lives and reigns forever and ever.
The Implication of the Keys of Hell and of Death (Rev. 1:8, 18; Heb. 2:12,14-15). The dreaded words the people of the world and some in the Church do not want to hear are HELL and DEATH. They evoke constant fear and sense of hopelessness. Yet the I AM, who came, suffered and was buried, not only defeated the powers behind HELL and DEATH but took both keys at the time of His resurrection; same keys He gave and still gives to His true representatives (Matt. 16:19; Isa. 22:22). Our stand on the issue determines our victory or otherwise over our trials and troubles.
Men and brethren, what think ye of He Who died and yet lives and His representatives tonight? The solution Provider who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, He has risen from dead and because He lives we can face tomorrow (Isa. 46:3-4). If you believe this report rise up and let’s pray.