"Stronger than Iron Bands"
June 15, 2013
Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Over the years many of our Daily Devotion readers have shown they are knowledgeable historians.
Still, not many know much about Lady Anne Grimston. If the name is new to you, allow me to share her story. Lady Anne did not believe in Jesus or in the resurrection. To make her skepticism known in death as well as life, she made sure her grave would remain untouched, unopened and unmarred by anything as foolish as the resurrection from the dead.
When she was dying, Lady Anne could confidently boast to a friend, "The chances of me living again are as possible as that of a tree to grow from my body."
Shortly after saying those words Lady Anne died and was buried in a marble tomb. That tomb was covered by a large marble slab and the whole thing was held together by encircling iron bands. Strangely, and years later, the covering slab was found to have been moved ... just a little bit. Then it moved a bit more. It moved as far as the iron would allow it to move.
Then, when it could move no more, the slab cracked and through the crack a small tree grew. The tree continued to grow, tilting the stone, and breaking the marble masonry. Today the tree has encircled the entire tomb with its roots.
Indeed, the tree at Lady Anne Grimston's grave is one of the largest in all of England.
Now I'm not claiming this tree is some sort of modern miracle. It is quite possible it is only coincidence that has caused the tree to grow in this particular place. On the other hand, it is also possible that God took Lady Anne's challenge more seriously than she did. Either explanation is possible.
But it is certainty, not possibility, which states the day will come when Jesus will bring forth the body of this doubter. In damnation she will be joined by others who showed their disregard for the Redeemer and His blood-bought salvation.
Oh, there is one other certainty. It is also certain that when Jesus hung upon the cross, He was carrying the sins of Lady Anne and the rest of humanity. This He did because the Lord wants all people to be brought to faith and be saved.
All of this may help explain why this Daily Devotion exists, and why Lutheran Hour Ministries preaches a changeless Christ to a changing world, and why your church offers Word and Sacrament ministries.
All these things exist so, if we have anything to say about it, there won't be many Lady Anne Grimstons on Judgment Day.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is hard for many people to believe they are sinners or Jesus is their Savior from those sins. Give us the words and the will to proclaim the Christ while there is still time. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries