"Returning From The Grave"
March 31, 2011
And he (a rich man) said, "No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent." He (Abraham) said to him, "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead." Luke 16:30-31
A voice from beyond the grave.
Sounds like something from Edgar Allen Poe, doesn't it? Well, this story has nothing to do with Poe or horror stories, and it really doesn't have anything to do with support of one candidate or another. (We really don't do politics in the Daily Devotions.)
The voice from beyond the grave to which I refer belongs to Jim Harrison whose cancer ended his life on February 27th. Before Harrison passed away, he wrote part of his newspaper obituary. It reads
"In lieu of flowers, at Jim's request, please make a donation to ANYONE running against Barack Hussein Obama or the American Cancer Society."
It was Harrison's way of trying to reach out and influence the living after he was dead and buried. Whether his idea works or not is anybody's guess.
Those who study Scripture know it isn't the first time that kind of thing has been tried. In Jesus' story about the rich man and Lazarus, the condemned rich man asks that Lazarus be allowed to come back from the dead and give a warning to the still-living brothers of the rich man.
The request was turned down. "After all," came the reply, "Your brothers have Moses and the Prophets, if they don't listen to those fellows, they're not going to pay attention -- even if someone was to return from the dead."
The parable was right.
We know it is right because almost 2,000 years ago God's Son did rise from the grave and showed Himself to His disciples and the world. Again and again He spoke with them, visited with them, ate with them and even touched them.
Yes, Jesus returned from the dead and many people have refused His offer of salvation. It's amazing, but it's true. People prefer to live in doubt and denial rather than hear the words of the Savior: "... Blessed are those who have not seen but believe" (John 20:29b).
If you're one of those not-having-seen-the-Savior individuals, today would be a good day to give thanks for the Holy Spirit's work in your heart and life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel. By Your great grace I have been given faith in the living Savior who does not speak from the grave, but has returned to life and conquered the grave. May I share Him whenever I am able. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries