The following is from my files, dated July 29, 1993 by popular speaker and writer John Gipson. Hope you enjoy it. JD
GRAVE OPENING POWER
Last week I stood in the midst of the National Cemetery in Little Rock, and gazed at the massive field of white crosses. There were many … so very many … and now a new one was to be added. For every cross there was a grave, and for every grave a body.
At one time these bodies lived and breathed. But no longer. Each of them kept anappointment. “It is appointed for men to die once.”
To the natural eye it seems so final. The body dies and is buried. No physician, however skilled, can resurrect the dead. We mourn, but that is all we can do. We are powerless before the grave, the house appointed for all living.
For a moment we are almost tempted to believe Shiller’s line from Funeral Fantasy, “Never the grave gives back what it has won!” But it is not true…not true at all!
Once there was a man who cried, “Lazarus, come out.”
“The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth.”
The man who called forth the dead died himself on a Roman cross. But when he died “the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He said it and he proved it.
William Temple called the Christian faith the most materialistic of all the world’s religions because it made matter sacramental. Matter matters. God made it in creation, took it on in incarnation, and raises it again in resurrection.
Graves are not as permanent as they seem, “for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29).
There is One who has grave opening power.
Many have examined the evidence and have declared, “I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” Do you?
John Gipson Little Rock, Arkansas July 29, 1993