Grave News

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If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. (1 Corinthians 15:19)

.   .   .

Back in the 70s, when the disciples had perms and wore flairs, there was a Christian musician named Andrae Crouch. He wrote a song that was very popular at the time, a sentimental testimony with a chorus that went like this:

If heaven never was promised to me
Neither God’s promise to live eternally
It’s been worth just having the Lord in my life

Simple. Heartfelt. And, I might add, total crapola. You gotta be kidding me. Jesus abandons me six feet under and I should be okay with that? I don’t think so. Anybody who believes that a one-and-done Jesus is something to be thankful for is flakier than Pillsbury pie crust. If Jesus is only a travel buddy in this life, then his highest place of honor is next to Buddha as a plastic bobble-head on the dash.

I’m serious. Having Jesus ride shotgun with me only in this short shelf-life life? No freaking way, man. Now my bro the Apostle Paul may get a little wordy at times—well, a lot wordy a lot of times—but the man definitely knew the bottom line. He had no time for any lame religious claptrap that keeps dead people dead. “If there is no resurrection,” he writes, “we’re all screwed.” I’m with Paul. If the first-century Jewish carpenter isn’t going to raise me from the dead, the guy can keep his 8×10 glossy.

deadfootLook, you can do your vague and vibey spiritual whatever you’re into if you want to, but I’m not on this bandwagon so I can be a spiritual person. I’m not into this thing because God’s worthy of worship, even if he is. I’m not into this because Jesus loved me and gave his life for me. I’m not even into this thing because I’m forgiven of my (very few) modest transgressions. All this may be true, but if the Fred that I am now winks out forever anyway, then screw it. If God isn’t planning to extend my lease, then he can get his hallelujahs from the heavenly hired help. If I’m going to stay dead, me and the boys are gonna eat, drink, and party until lights go out.

No. The only reason I’m taking hold of Jesus is because I’m convinced that Jesus is the only dude who’s going to yank my mortal keister back from the dead. I’m banking that he’s got both the mojo and the shiny badge to kick death’s cold butt and bootstrap me up from the primal nada. I see no other contenders for the crown. You can keep your Zens, your isms, your religions, and your various self-congratulatory enlightenments. My chips are all in on the Jew.

I’m no religious Pollyanna by a long shot, but I do believe that Jesus is the bona fide one and only Son of the Living God. Yes, I believe God loves me. Yes, I believe Christ’s sacrifice at the cross hacked open forgiveness for sinners. Yes, I believe there is a full-on righteousness download. Shoot, I even believe in the renegade Holy Ghost. But all this is so much religious fluff compared to the ground zero reality that the resurrection of Jesus—his death-shattering, tomb-obliterating, cosmos-cracking victory over the grave—means that I myself am going blow this broken-down joint with my blood-scoured soul intact and sporting a brand spanking new body to house it.

He is indeed risen, kids. But the better news is that he’s taking me along for the ride.

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2 Responses

  1. Woo hoo! Thanks for encouraging six paragraphs!

  2. Fred, your newest picture makes you look like a drug addict with pock marked skin. I thought my picture needed updating, now I think I will leave it. You, Ken Perkins & Jim Moore, what a bunch from the 70’s. I am from the 80’s a new level of weird.

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