The Resurrection of Christ
Elder Steven Bloyd; John 20.
Message Audio [42 mins]
The Resurrection of Christ
There is something about Spring. You can feel it in the warmth of the air. You can smell it in the trees and flowers coming back to life. You can hear it in the songs of birds and insects. At times, you feel even your own soul seems to awaken out of a slumber and you are renewed with new strength and inspiration.
Scientifically, Spring begins with the Vernal Equinox, one of two times each year when the earth’s axis tilts neither toward nor away from the sun. At this time, the length of the day and the night are nearly equal, marking a transition point between the short days of winter and the long days of summer. On the calendar, Spring begins on March 20th. However, a date on a calendar can never capture what your senses tell you that first day you feel Spring in the air.
Where I grew up in wintery northern New Hampshire, Spring begins differently, and later, than in Maryland, and certainly differently than here in the desert. Nevertheless, it would come at its appointed time. The snow would begin to melt, the ground would turn into mud, and the silence of winter would give way to the sounds of life inside every tree and field and river. I observed with my senses and felt in my soul the theme that was being declared at that moment throughout the creation around me.
Psalm 19 begins by declaring, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” The truth is, God has surrounded us with declarations of his purpose and character. Far more than just providing us a place to dwell and food to eat, the creation of God displays and declares spiritual truth, revealing the nature and character of God. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Among the countless truths declared by the creation of God is the Resurrection of the dead. In Spring we witness resurrection of the creation around us. Trees that had shed their last leaves begin to bud again; perennials that had died in the Autumn begin to sprout again from their root-stocks; a landscape made stark and barren by cold days, frozen ground, and want of sunlight, is brought to life again by the warmth of the sun shining upon it.
The Apostle Paul used the planting of a seed as an analogy for resurrection, “that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.” A seed is planted, buried beneath the soil, it begins to decompose, its casing is broken down, and then it begins to grow. That which seemed dead, the hard, dry, seed, after being buried in the soil, comes alive and grows into a plant, taking on a form with a magnificence and beauty that far exceeds the form it had as a seed.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the sun. It is the light of the sun which provides the warmth and brightness needed to sustain and replenish all forms of life on the earth. The sun “is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” (Psalm 19:5-6)
That light which sustains all life in the realm of nature is a picture of that true light who sustains both natural and spiritual life, Jesus Christ, the Word of God. “All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:3-4)
His truth is declared by the creation, by the sun, the moon, the stars, and the earth on which we dwell. They preach continually, declaring the invisible attributes of God. “There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.” (Psalm 19:3-4) As the light from that sun shines upon us, renewing the earth and even our own strength this Spring, may we see the very handiwork of God in his creation, and may we glorify him who created all things.