Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard." Acts 4:19-20
Somehow, last week I missed the commemoration of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.
This devotion, however, is not about "honest" Abe's birth. It's about his death or, more accurately, what happened after he died.
Did you know a Chicago crime boss named "Big" Jim Kennally tried to steal and hold Lincoln's body for ransom? Kennally thought the Illinois governor might, in exchange for the president's corpse, pardon from prison one of Kennally's associates.
To make a long story short, Kennally and his men botched the job and were arrested a few days later.
Now, here's where it gets interesting. Six men who had been entrusted with the guarding of Lincoln's body decided to make sure there were no more such shenanigans. They buried the president's casket in secret and for ten years didn't tell anyone where the famous body had been placed.
Reading that story, I thought there are some similarities here. Both Jesus and Lincoln died on Good Friday. Both had authorities who were afraid of grave robbers and did all they could to make sure the corpses in their charge were kept safe.
Yes, there are similarities, but there are also two big differences. The first difference is this: Lincoln stayed dead and Jesus didn't. And the other difference? Unlike the men who took an oath of silence concerning Lincoln's body, the disciples spent the rest of their lives telling the world that Jesus lives.
Eagerly, gladly, they told anyone who would listen that in Jesus there is forgiveness, hope, and heaven. On behalf of all the Lord's redeemed Peter and John confessed, "We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."
And so we should speak to others of the living Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, by Your life, death, and resurrection, I have been given a new and wonderful life. Now, may I spend my life telling the world that because You live, I shall live also. In Your Name. Amen.
By God's grace, this devotion is freely shared with you. Still, I don't know all the people who need it or should read it. Won't you forward it to that someone? Just click the "Forward this devotion to a friend" link below. You can also direct them to sign up for the DD's at: http://www.lhm.org/email/register.asp.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries