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Apr. 6, 2020

THE GALLERY OF HEAVEN  

 

“Is there no balm in Gilead,

 Is there no physician there?”

Jeremiah 8:22

  

 Imagine with me a gallery in heaven.

 Let’s call it an exhibition of second chances. There is Abraham’s altar for Isaac, Moses staff, Joseph’s multi-colored coat, David’s sling,  a lame man’s crutch,  Mary’s shawl, the chains of the Gadarene demoniac,  the spittle and mud from a blind man’s eyes, Stephen’s stones, Mary Magdalene’s tear bottle, the nails and cross of Christ, and a myriad of other relics. 

 High above the others; in a most prominent place would be the greatest relic of them all – a large stone disc. It is massive. It is round. It is heavy. It has a Roman seal on it. It was used to seal the opening of a tomb. It brings to mind the glory of Easter – for if there was no resurrection, then our faith would be in vain. The angels did not roll away the stone to let Jesus out; but to let seekers in to see that He is who He says He is – the Christ - the Risen Savior of the world!          

 Why does this gallery exist? So that we could be grateful for the past? So we could look back with amazement at what Jesus did?  No. The purpose of this gallery is not to tell us what Jesus did. Their purpose is to tell us what Jesus does.

 The Resurrection of Christ is not a fairy tale. It is not a fable. It is a physical reality that is a historical fact. Because of the Resurrection; we can answer the question, “Is there a Balm in Gilead? Is there hope and well being for me today?” The answer cascades down through to ages to us gathered here today and it is a resounding “YES!”  

 Because Jesus, the Resurrected Christ, lives we can face all of our tomorrows. He is there to calm the troubled waters of our soul. He is there to pick up and put together the dashed puzzle pieces of our lives again. He is there to embrace us with His love as we share with Him the lonely aches of our heart. He takes away our shame and grants us a fresh new beginning. He will never leave nor forsake us. He lets us know that there is nothing that we and He cannot get through together!

 Yes, may we take a good look at that stone disc. May it always remind us that the Resurrection of Christ was not for Him, but for us!  As we identify with Him on the cross for our sin, we can also share in the benefits of God’s Resurrection forgiveness for that sin. The good news is that in this life we don’t have to be perfect; just forgiven!

 Which brings us to a final exhibition in the gallery. It is an open book with the closing chapters left unwritten. There is a pen lying on an empty page. It is yours! The book is there to help you not just look back with amazement, but to look forward in faith to spending an eternity with the Risen Christ.

 The Christ who spoke, seeks to speak with you. The Christ who forgave, still forgives you. The Christ who came, still seeks to partner with you in your world. He was and is and forever will be the God of the second chance. Only you can decide what will be written about you in those final pages.

 This Easter, I invite you to look from the large stone disc Christ’s Resurrection glory, to the need in your own life. He has come to bring light to your darkness, to bring freedom to your captivity, restoration to your broken heart, hope to your future, and comfort your soul.

Now, that is something to celebrate!

As always, see you next time and have a great day!