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The Word on the Week

Risen and Reigning

Risen and Reigning                   Word on the Week          30th March 2024.

Of all the expressions of Easter my least favourite would be the cartoon which adorned the front page of one of our national newspapers.    It portrayed the common man surveying a litany of disasters appearing in a news sheet and exclaiming loudly ‘Jesus Christ’.

Recognising he was blaspheming the Lord’s name the cartoonist sought to head off possible criticism by having the little bird pose the question, “Is that blasphemy?”  The worm responds by professing ignorance and claiming that the disasters listed are blasphemy.

I am sure there is a word for the recognition that what you are doing is wrong but after naively querying it, go ahead and do it anyway.   ‘Disingenuous’ comes close but in taking the Lord’s name in vain you descend to the language of the gutter.   Usually his cartoons are brilliant but even cartoonists require editorial scrutiny.   

Ironically the horrific items listed in the new sheet are similar but on a smaller scale to those listed by Jesus in the Gospels as signs of the end of the age (Matthew 24 Mark 13 Luke 21).   

The scene in Jerusalem that first Easter was set by the arrival of some Greek worshippers who were looking for Jesus.   This was a sign that the Gospel was breaking out from its Judean roots and reaching the Gentiles.   Jesus now proclaimed that the hour had come for him to be glorified by giving his life for sinners (John 12 verses 20 to 27).

The Lord’s illustration of the seed requiring to die before it could bring forth many seeds was to be applied to himself on the cross producing the seed of the Gospel.   In his death he was substituting his perfect life for the sinner making him the long awaited Saviour: –

I delivered to you, wrote the Apostle Paul, as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (I Corinthians 15 verses 3 to 4).

And on a more personal note the hymn writer Philip Bliss wrote of Jesus: –

Bearing shame and scoffing rude

In my place condemned He stood

Sealed my pardon with his blood

Hallelujah! What a Saviour.

May the real Jesus Christ be Risen and Reigning in your hearts this Easter and always.