#597: He Lives!

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Reflections by the Pond
April 1, 2013

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

Alfred H. Ackley

° ° °

I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today;
I know that He is living, whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He's always near.

This is where we lose them. Easter is where we lose all those who have been agreeably saying that Jesus was a righteous teacher, a nice guy who told us to "love our neighbor," an all-round honorable, sympathetic fellow. Easter is where we lose all those who end any remark about Jesus of Nazareth with, "But he certainly wasn't God."

Easter is the dividing line between polite condescension and true faith. The resurrection event winnows out the fence sitters and leaves only believers. For "nice guys" don't walk out of tombs; "righteous teachers" don't come back to life after death on a Roman cross; the dead do not squat on the beach and roast fish for breakfast. Only God could rise out of cold death to an unnatural body, then ascend into heaven with it forty days later.

At this point the fence sitter smirks, "Yeah, right."

Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.'"

Mark 16:5-7

° ° °

But the true believer does not serve a memory, an occurrence of a really, really unique character from ancient history, but a risen, living Savior.

In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And tho' my heart grows weary, I never will despair;
I know that He is leading thro' all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing will come at last.

The real believer is not one by faith alone—though faith is indeed the critical component—but also by experience. The real follower of Christ actually has something others do not: something so tangible and dynamic one can almost hold it in one's hand. Far more than just a ticket through the Pearly Gates, belief in the real Jesus carries with it a supernatural perspective on the natural.

That which is invisible—indeed, assumed to be nonexistent—to the nonbeliever, is visible to the believer. The attendant love and compassion of Christ are truly experienced; help and counsel through difficult times are a reliable resource; and His active hand is discovered in every corner of the world around us.

° ° °

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.

So the one who has Christ Jesus in his heart (the one who is on the heart of Christ Jesus) knows a tangible, confident joy that exists nowhere else on earth. No human companion is as constant as the Lord.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

Galatians 2:20

The follower of Christ knows an intimacy with God that the unbeliever cannot even imagine. It is a supernatural relationship with a vital, active, loving, living Savior.

° ° °

You ask me how I know He lives?

He lives within my heart!