Put out more flags!
THE GENERAL’S EASTER MESSAGE
General John Gowans
The enemies of Jesus did their worst. You have to give them full marks for thoroughness. They humiliated him, they beat him, and they crowned him with an excruciatingly painful diadem of thorns. They crucified him with real nails and, for good measure, thrust a spear into his side. They walled him up in a borrowed tomb, sealed it and set guards so that no one could rob them of his very dead body. What else could they do to ensure that he could not bother them any more?
They must have screamed with frustration when they learned that he was up and about again. Worst of all this “risen” Christ seemed to be capable of being everywhere at once. Would they never see the last of him? No! They would not! It began to dawn on them that whilst men can crucify the Christ they cannot destroy him. He is indestructible and illimitable! They could hardly believe it and, for that matter, neither could his disciples. For them it seemed too good to be true.
His friends had to come to terms with the fact that no longer was their Jesus to be restricted to one place at a time, a Saviour limited in a geographical sense. He was to be their everywhere-present Christ; their uncontainable and unrestricted Redeemer. It must have almost blown their minds.
The implications were staggering. This meant that their Servant-Lord was now forever at their elbow and they did not have to travel long and weary miles to consult him, to ask his help, to receive his pardon, to feel his embrace. His availability was total and immediate. No appointment needed to be made and no rendezvous fixed in advance for the hurting disciple to feel his healing touch.
When faced with impossible challenges or opportunities beyond their capacities, the power they needed was “closer to them than breathing and nearer than hands or feet”! It took them a while to learn this but they learned it well. The Acts of the Apostles in our New Testament are indisputable proof that they did!
But has all this anything to say to our generation? Are we not talking of history here?
It has everything to say to our day and age. Today’s world is in need of a Healer, a Comforter, a Counselor, an Encourager, an Empowerer, a Pardoner, a Saviour from sin and a Saviour from meaningless living. All these are found in the Person of Christ. As the songwriter puts it:
For warm, sweet, tender, even yet
A present help is he;
And faith has still its Olivet,
And love its Galilee.
He is the contemporary answer to our contemporary problems. He is the Altogether-Available and the Always-With-Us. No longer visible but never far from any one of us; crushable, crucifiable but always resurrectable. Isn’t this what he meant when he said: “Look, I am with you always!”?
Always? Then Easter is to be celebrated. His is the love that will not let us go. PUT OUT MORE FLAGS!