October 22, 2009
For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:10-11
It's been 200 years since he was born and 160 years since he was found aimlessly wandering the streets of Baltimore.
Obviously sick, he was taken to a city hospital, where he died a few days later.
A funeral was quickly arranged and the penniless man was buried. Seven people came to his farewell.
Over the years, friends of the ghoulish, the ghastly, the gruesome, and the grisly have concluded this was a poor way for Edgar Allan Poe to leave this world.
That's why Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe Museum in Baltimore, recently arranged a "do-over" for Poe's funeral. That's right; a new funeral was given the deceased author. A life-sized model of Poe's body was put on display so visitors might pay their respects. The casket was loaded onto an old-style hearse and driven to Westminster Burying Ground. That's where the real Poe has resided for more than a century and a half.
It was a funeral do-over. Now I know a lot of folks who would love to have a funeral do-over for Jesus.
Irreverent rulers, other religions, atheistic and agnostic thinkers -- they have all expressed their willingness, their eagerness to stuff Jesus' body back in the tomb.
Indeed, in the early days of the Church the emperor Diocletian set up a stone pillar on which he had inscribed this prideful achievement: FOR HAVING EXTERMINATED THE NAME CHRISTIAN FROM THE EARTH. Today, it's not much different.
Of course, every enemy of the cross has been confronted by the same problem: Jesus died once, and that was it. He's not going back in His tomb. That's what Paul said to the church in Rome. It's what God says to this dying planet.
The Lord sent His Son to give His life as our ransom. Now, all who believe on Him as Savior are forgiven and redeemed. Those who don't believe . . . well, they'll keep trying to stuff Jesus back in His grave, and He - just - won't - stay - there.
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, living Lord, for having lived, died, and risen for me, I shall always be grateful. You have given me eternal life. Now, please send Your Holy Spirit upon those who don't believe. Let them see that because You live, they can live also. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries