Covert Matters Digest
Greater Vision of an Exciting Life
By John I. Romaine
Easter Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe if He was resurrected, then we can too.
It has always haunted the hearts of people what happens after we die. We know we are alive when we still breathe, walk, eat, sleep and
fulfill what we believe we should be doing with our lives. But we know that there will come a day when we will breathe our last breath, take our last step and go the way of all flesh that our physical body with die.
Funerals for the dead vary, according to the customs of each person; there usually is a ceremony that includes their family, friends, funeral personnel and some sort of official who conducts the funeral service.
I have conducted many funerals and can testify that there are few which I enjoyed. It usually requires speaking comforting words and understanding the grieving process.
In every funeral I’ve conducted, I always talked about the In resurrection of Jesus, how the deceased’s physical body may be laying there is everyone’s view. The person is more than a physical body. The person has something called a soul, a spirit.
Now there is always the question in the minds of mourners. Is the person now in heaven or in hell? I personally believe that both of these places are very symbolic and that the Scriptures don’t clearly spell out what they actually are.
I do know from the Scriptures there is a clear revelation of God’s love which He showed the world through His son Jesus Christ. This person Jesus was a real man. At the same time the only Son of God. I believe all of Scripture testifies of Him. This story of redemption is the best hope that we humans have for the remission of our sin and for everlasting life.
This Christian view point is one that requires faith; a faith that is not blind, because history has clearly identified that a man named Jesus did live on this earth and was crucified just outside of Jerusalem. Even those who were not Christians wrote of this man and document is His existence.
So this is what Easter is all about: looking past the business of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, we have a much greater vision of an empty tomb which inspired we Christians to continue to believe that our lives are not in vain, that we do have an eternal purpose, that death will finally be put to death and the dead shall rise to meet their Lord in the air.
I understand that this is hard to swallow, but without this kind of hope, we are people who live without hope and only live for whatever joy we can find from our daily existence here on this simply miraculously incredible planet, called Mother Earth!
There is one point in Jesus’ trip to the cross where He and His disciples pass over a little brook, named Cedron on their way to the garden below the Mount of Olives. This brook leads directly back to the temple where some 356,000 lambs had been sacrificed for the celebration of the Passover. The blood from all these lambs had flowed down into the brook and when they stepped over this brook, there must have been blood still mixing with the water.
What a sight for Jesus to see as he gingerly made His way across this brook, seeing the blood mixing with the water. He knew that in just a few hours His own blood would be spilled on the ground beneath His cross.
But with firm resolve He continued to make His way into the garden where He poured out His soul in deep prayer to His Heavenly Father, saying, “Not my will, but Thine be done!”
There are so many such happenings that continued throughout that night: it was cold and Peter would stop and warm himself by a fire. Jesus and John would continue their walk to meet them who would condemn Him to die. But this one little detail speaks volumes about the great passion He would suffer throughout the night and into the next day.
It should be reminder to all of us who call ourselves Christians that the price Jesus paid for our peace with God, should, once again open afresh our minds to the mighty and yet very simple sacrifice of His Only begotten Son for our opportunity to have peace that passes all understanding.
About John I. Romaine
Rev. John I. Romaine has been a distinguished pastor-teacher-counselor for more than 40 years. He continues to pastor a country church in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. He and his wife Connie, married 27 years, are co-founders of the Tri-Cities Workcamps in Petersburg, Virginia. Each summer over 400 teens and adults from every church denomination help rebuild homes and individual lives during two retreats.
Tri-Cities Workcamps has led large groups to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to assist in repairs of homes to vicims of Hurricane Katrina. The Romaines led armies of youth door-to-door through the streets of Petersburg checking and replacing smoke detectors. The group has an ongoing work-camp relationship with Christians in Nablus, Palestine.
Together they have one daughter, Alexina, a graduate student in Atlanta, Georgia.•