BY EVAN WELCHER
"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" ~ The Lord Jesus (John 11:25-26)
When did you first realize you were alive? My first memory is the sea of dandelions that passed for the lawn of a long forgotten boyhood home.
Do you remember the first time you fell in Love? Do you remember the last time you fell in Love? Do you remember falling in Love for good?
I remember her walking down the aisle on her Daddy’s arm. $100 white dress. Sunflowers and pearls. Yellow flats. My Resplendent Bride.
Love and life, a few steps between her and I.
Less than three years later…
I remember holding her hand and whispering my love into her coma, whispering it was time to go Home to the Father, as they unhooked the ventilator from her cancer and chemo riddled body.
Love and death, a few heartbeats between her and I.
Tears are still burning.
Her wounds are precious to my heart.
Christ’s wounds, the lash wounds, the thorn wounds, the nail wounds, and the spear wound atoned for the sins of the world. Christ paid for our sins in full.
"Nonetheless, we shall all pay for our sins. That grim truth is why we all still must die, despite salvation. We are children, yes this much is true, but children of Adam. The wise woman told King David, “We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.” ~ 2nd Samuel 14.14
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned… ~ Romans 5.12
For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5.17
…so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ Romans 5.21
For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. ~ 1st Corinthians 15:21-22
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. ~ Hebrews 9:27-28
His wounds paid for the sin of the world. Her wounds were the price she paid for living in a fallen world. She didn’t suffer for her sins specifically, but she did suffer because of sin. There was no cancer before the shattering of the world.
The holes from her port and picc lines, where they poured medicine and blood into her.
The hole from her stomach tube, the only way to feed her.
The long scar on her back, where they cut her open after her cancer was supposedly vanquished only to find it had returned with swift vengeance.
The holes in her hip, from repeated bone marrow biopsies.
And, her beautiful, bald, head, where honey colored glory was once her crown (1st Corinthians 11.15).
There were scars the mortician could not conceal. We had to put a scarf on her. Everybody walked by her and shook their heads saying, “Don’t look like her”. Death didn’t become her, but how could it? Was there ever one so Resplendent? What fellowship has death with the child of God? That face was meant for smiling.
We all have wounds we shall carry with us until Resurrection Day.
I’ve been fishing for peace while standing in the river Styx, and peace is one slippery fish. This river is cold and swift, if you get my drift. Won’t be long now, ‘til I slip.
I know this barren landscape shall give way to eternal spring bursting forth like sunshine on Noah’s face the day he unsealed the Ark to find the world washed and made anew.
I have stayed up many a night wrestling the enemy. His claws have etched a memorial to lies on my heart, but these meager wounds do not compare to the scars Christ the Lord bears in perpetual memorandum on His divine person.
Yes, the dawn is approaching and I shall feel the sun on my face once again. The warmth of the Resurrection will at long last cast out the chill residing in my bone marrow. My love is as strong as death (Song Of Songs 8.6) but God’s love raises the dead.
Oh, may the world-weary bedraggled saints rise up and call the Son blessed.
Oh, may He return and break every casket!
Oh, may He return and grind every tombstone to dust!
Oh, may ligament, muscle and skin wrap themselves around dry bones!
Call us forth, Oh, Lord!
Call us forth from the grave!
Can you see Him in His glory waiting for His Resplendent Bride?
Do you see the Church, washed, and finally alive?
You shall look back on Resurrection Day.
You shall remember the first time you felt alive.
You shall remember the Day you fell in Love for good.
The Groom says His vow:
"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Evan Welcher is senior pastor of First Christian Church in Glenwood, Iowa. He graduated with a B.S. in Biblical studies from Emmaus Bible College in 2005. Evan’s goal in ministry is to stir up love for Jesus Christ by the giving of great care and fidelity to the teaching of the scriptures.