(John said) "When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. But Jesus laid His right hand on me, saying, 'Fear not, I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.'" Revelation 1:17-18
Tradition says Alexander the Great was buried in a crystal casket and embalmed in honey. For centuries his body was on display and could be visited by those who were curious or wished to honor the greatest of Western generals.
Of course, Alexander is not the only world leader whose body has been put on public view.
Today you could travel to Russia and see the corpse of the fellow whose ideas gave birth to modern Russia. The fellow is Vladimir Lenin, and for a guy who is 146 years old, he looks pretty good.
Now you should know there are a number of reasons why the deceased leader looks so great. Those reasons are
1. this year the Russian government is going to spend around $200,000 to make sure Lenin can keep up appearances and be displayed in a "lifelike condition";
2. that money will see the leader's corpse being re-embalmed; that takes place every other year;
3. it will have him submerged in separate solutions of glycerol solution baths, formaldehyde, potassium acetate, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid solution, and acetic sodium;
4. it will have him wearing a rubber suit under his "Sunday-go-to-meeting" clothes, so a layer of embalming fluid is constantly in contact with his skin;
5. when all of this preservation has proven unsuccessful, plastic surgeons will be brought in to do their best. In the past they have replaced Lenin's eyelashes, given him a nose job, and replaced missing skin on his foot.
In spite of all the money and effort, a poll of 8,000 Russians recently revealed that 62 percent of them think the old fellow, and the expense of maintaining him, ought to be laid to rest permanently.
You probably wouldn't be surprised if I told you there are a great many people in this world who would love to permanently place Jesus back into His tomb. They would love to do it, but that's not going to happen.
It's not going to happen because they can't find His body, and they can't find His body because three days after He was murdered Jesus rose from the dead. The resurrection showed to all humanity that Jesus had completed His work and done all that was necessary to save a lost and dying world. Today the Christ lives and He, without need of embalmers and chemists, continues to invite the lost to the salvation His life, death and resurrection have won.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Lenin was a man of power, but death claimed him. Today I give thanks for a living Redeemer whose dedication and sacrifice have given me life eternal. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"