Guarding Graveclothes

 "So they rushed back to tell His eleven disciples - and everyone else - what had happened. The women who went to the tomb were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several others. They told the apostles what had happened, but the story sounded like nonsense, so they didn't believe it. However, Peter ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened." Luke 24:9-12

....."To what purpose all our parochial routine? Some may choose to guard the graveclothes, but one question still remains. Where is he who has seen the risen Lord?......With pride we sport ourselves as being 'with it,' when humbly we should seek to be 'with Him.' " Geoffrey Bull


The above quote from Bull has haunted me since I first saw it a day or so ago. The question His Spirit pierces me with is, what have we in the church been doing more of; guarding His graveclothes or telling a world locked in darkness that we have seen the risen Christ? Unless, maybe, we haven't really seen Him at all.

I'm not saying that we don't believe, or that we have no connection with the risen Lord, but have we really "seen" Him? In the day to day walk of life, and all life entails, have we seen Him? In our families, relationships, jobs, circumstances, and ministries, have we truly seen Him? Can we tell a crippled, sin darkened world that we have seen, that we have intimate knowledge of the risen Jesus Christ? Or, are we guarding graveclothes? Do we lift up an "event," the resurrection and celebrate it at least once a year at Easter, but then go back to "guarding the graveclothes?" To me that means living our lives out in our own strength, facing problems, needs, impossibilities in our own understanding. Looking to earthly resources and abilities instead of Kingdom ones. We guard the empty tomb and the graveclothes within. We will never deny the resurrection of Christ, but how many of us have truly seen the resurrected Christ? We believe in the resurrection, but so few of us seem to live truly resurrected lives. We know all about the resurrection from a historical standpoint. Do we know it from an experiential one? The light has come, so why does the darkness grow? Unless His light has yet to fully come upon and into us. The resurrection and the Pentecost experience of the release of the fullness of the Holy Spirit which followed are actual happenings. Have they actually happened in us?


I recently heard writer and speaker Christine Caine tell of something that happened with her young daughter who badly wanted a Barbie flashlight. They went out together and bought one and after paying for it, the little girl clicked it on. But in the bright lights of the store, she could not see its light. She exclaimed to her mother, "Mommy, quick, lets go find some darkness." We do not have to go far to find spiritual darkness. It does not just lurk outside the doors of the church, it makes itself known within them as well. We will not overcome it by continuing to guard the graveclothes, but it cannot stand, has never been able to stand against a church who has truly seen the risen Christ. The light that shines from such people will bring about the same result that it did 2000 years ago when it was said of his followers, "Those who are turning the world upside down have come here as well." 

Jesus turned the tables upside down in the Temple. It always starts within the church. What tables in our hearts need to be turned upside down in order that we no longer guard graveclothes, but manifest the light of His presence.....all because we have seen the risen Lord? A clear question. What's our clear answer?

Pastor O








Post a Comment

   May 2019   
Bible Search