As children, many of us learned that “April showers bring May flowers.” If you live in the U.S. desert southwest, however, “April showers” are in short supply! Despite the lack of rain, April is a month of renewal, regeneration, and resurrection as the cactus and paloverde trees flower and bloom in all their radiant beauty. What a wonderful visual God has given us during this time when we also celebrate Easter and the Resurrection of our Lord!
Remember Job? Job lived hundreds of years before Jesus was born. He was a man greatly blessed by God. Job was rich. He had ten children. Job was … upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:1b). Yet, Job lost everything—his riches were taken from him and his children were all killed. His friends deserted him and even his wife turned against him, telling him to “Curse God and die” (Job 2:9b). Job was truly living in a desert of death! Yet in the midst of listing all his woes, Job made one of the greatest professions of faith found anywhere in Scripture: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:25-27a).
Jesus, himself, reiterates this statement in John, chapter 11, while talking to Martha about the death of Lazarus. Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:23-26). What great comfort these passages give us!
In the book of Acts, the apostles, by the power of the Holy Spirit, testify over and over again to the resurrection of Jesus. St. Paul reminds us in Romans 6:3-5: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Christ died on that cross on Good Friday for you and me. He lives so that we, His baptized, believing children, still struggling in this desert called “life,” will also rise on that last day! May we, like Job of old and all the saints who have gone before us, proclaim in faith to those around us: I know that my Redeemer lives!
In closing, let us pray or sing together “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” verses 1, 7, and 8, LSB 461, TLH 200, LW 264.
He Lives/We Live
Written by Judy Gordon, Green Valley, New Mexico
Published by Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 2017