June 16, 2013
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:12-14
In an underground storage site near Los Angeles, the heads of a number of men and women are stored in capsules, which look like giant vacuum flasks.
Those heads are wrapped in tinfoil, and an icy mist of liquid nitrogen is around each of them. These people have chosen to be frozen in the belief that sometime in the future, when medical science has advanced far beyond today's standards, they might be revived and cured of the disease that killed them. Some of the bodies have been there for 40 years. They might be there for many more if their disease proves to be particularly resistant to a cure or science remains unable to jump-start them again.
Switch in topic: A number of years ago, a huge grave was found on the Japanese island of Amakusa.
At that grave there is a marker that says the heads of 11,111 Christians are buried there. The date on the grave is 1637. That was the year when the Japanese government ordered all Christians to be exterminated.
The inscription above this grave states that 11,111 Christians were killed and their bodies were buried elsewhere. Why? The missionaries who had brought Christianity to Japan had preached the resurrection of the body. It was the belief of the Japanese rulers that if they separated the heads from the bodies, they would stop those believers from joining in that great day.
Now it is time to ask, what is the common denominator in those stories? Did you get it? That point is this: the day of resurrection is coming.
It is coming and nobody has the ability to stop it. You can freeze your head or your entire body, but ultimately you can't defeat death. The day will come when the Lord will thaw out those bodies and reunite them with their souls.
The day is coming and governments cannot stop its arrival by separating bodies from heads.
The day is coming and you can't stop it, but you can be ready for it.
You can be ready by having Jesus as your Savior and Lord. It is He who entered this world to offer Himself as the sacrifice that would forgive our sins and procure salvation for all who would be brought to faith. It is He who wishes to move us from darkness into light, from damnation into salvation.
Indeed, by His blood we have already been moved into the light of the Lord who saves us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, unless You come soon, I shall not escape death. May I give thanks that because Jesus has defeated sin, the devil and the grave I have been saved. May I echo St. Paul who said, "My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better." In Jesus may that be my prayer and confidence. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries