SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES
There are discoveries in life that confuse us on the one hand as they delight us on the other hand. They are the kind of discoveries that exceed our expectations. However, we do not have an explanation about what has happened. What is clear is that our experience is one that goes beyond our wildest imagination, leaving us with only a declaration rather than an explanation. All we know is that the last opportunity we sought to do something about what has happened to us has been stolen and taken away. Feeling deprived of what we wanted to do, we go to others to share what we have discovered. John 20:1-10
There is an expression from several cultures which says, "what you lose in the fire, you fine in the ashes." How applicable to life is that. Physics teaches us that energy can't be created or destroyed, just transformed into something else. When the destructive forces of life that seem insurmountable consume you in their flaming grasp, remember all is not lost. Whether it is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual there is a law in physics called "the conservation of energy." Life experiences even the destructive ones have a transformative power.
When what you have tried to build burns to the ground, there is still something left to let you know that it is not over, but an opportunity to begin again. The proverb embodies the idea of the phoenix, the mythical bird that perishes in the flames only to be reborn from the ashes. Unfortunately most of us focus on the loss we experience in the flames of destruction forces. In ancient Greek folklore, a phoenix is a long lived bird that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associate with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.
However, ash which results from an erupting volcano is not bad for it can be rich in nutrients and serve as terrific fertilizer for what grows after the eruption dies down. Many fail to look for the usefulness of the ashes in their life situations. Sometimes it takes the ashes to burn off the dross and reveal the true value, the worth hidden within.
Here is a principle of life about reality. Whatever is loss provides the opportunity to start all over and begin anew. Following destruction is creation.
God raises Jesus from the worst destructive force of humanity in order to make us aware that life survives the worst that can happen and rises from the ashes in perpetuity with newness of existence.
With his death, burial, resurrection and ascension as Paul says, "Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy1:10). Death is potent but not omnipotent. There are some things that death cannot do. Death cannot cancel the contribution that a person makes in a lifetime nor limit the length of the legacy that a loved one leaves behind. Death cannot erase the experience we hold dear nor mar the memories we keep near. Death rather than extinguishing life expands existence to be more encompassing of reality in all of its fullness without any barriers, hindrances or obstacles. Jesus' resurrection reminds us that this is not all there is and that there is still more existence that is yet to be. "Death where is your sting? Grave where is your victory?" (I Corinthians 15:55-56).
Death where is your sting? Sting where is your grave? Grave where is your victory? He got up. God raise him up. He got up with all power in his hand.
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Second Baptist Church LA