If a man dies, will he live again? This question asked by
Job is answered emphatically in Jamie Buckinghams book, The Nazarene.
He says in his introduction, Ive written this little book
to share with you what I have learned lies ahead. This is a book to help
you face life-and death. His search for truth and his desire to
see life through His eyes to be there on His turf, so I could understand
what He meant when He said such things as a city on a hill cannot
behid, brought the author time and again to the land of Israel
where Jesus lived-and died-then rose again. The intimate insights that
Jamie Buckingham gleaned as he roamed the places where Jesus walked and
taught-sometimes on the very stones where the Savior had stood-are recorded
in this very personal devotional for all of us to be touched by. Bringing
the reader with him to many particlar locations sharing with us the sights
and sounds as he sees and hears them, our guide is able to convey to us
the reality of the life of the one called the Nazarene.
Of living here on this earth Jamie exhorts us that Earth is but
a preparation for what is yet to come-God's glorious promised land of
heaven. All the more reason we should enjoy our stay and not be anxious-no
matter how grim the situation. He takes us to the river Jordan where
he reflects on the persistent course of the river. There Jamie reminds
us that If we pay attention to our source-rather than the barrier-we
are always victorious. Keep your eyes on Jesus and nothing can deter you
from finishing your course. The Jordan river can be a raging torrent
or a gently flowing stream, yet it overcomes any obstacle to arrive at
its destination-the Dead Sea. So also do we have a destination-to die
and be found complete in Him.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain
of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but
if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 1:24)
and He who believes in Me, as the Scripture
said, From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.
And the fruit we are expected to bear is even not of ourselves, butthe
work of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jamie says, if
we have received his Spirit, no matter how small and insignificant we
may think our lives are, out of us will flow rivers that will bless the
uttermost parts of the earth. None of this is our responsibility, but
the work of the Spirit.
As our author traveled across the Holy Land, chronologically following
our Saviors life, he found himself one day in the Upper Room. Here
Jesus taught him more about the Servant he chose to follow: Ive
watched Christians for a long time. Ive concluded some of them serve
because they have to. Jesus, on the other hand, served because he wanted
to. John is specific with the record: Jesus knew that the Father
had put all things under his power so he got up from the meal,wrapped
a towel around his waist,and began to wash his disciples feet.
Aside from his willingness to go to the cross, nothing gives us any more
dramatic picture of the kind of people God wants us to be-a people who
serve one another.
Are we that kind of people? Do we want to be living examples to a lost
and dying world, the world that Jesus wept over? Then let us take this
exhortation from our brother in Christ, Be faithful. No matter how
small you think your part.
Bear one anothers burdens, and thus fulfill
the law of Christ. (Galations 6:2)
Finally, we arrive with Jamie at the cross of Christ, and the hours leading
to Jesus crucifixion. His evidence of Gods complete control
of every moment and aspect of the situation is compelling indeed. He states
The Romans did not take Jesus life. The Jews didnt do
it. Pilate didnt do it. Judas didnt do it. Jesus died voluntarily.
He laid down his life because he loves us. In addition to that Jamie
recounts the scene where Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, when Pilate
said, Dont you realize I have power either to free you
or to crucify you? Our courageous author offers that, Jesus
looked him straight in the eye. You would have no power over me
if it were not given to you from above.(John 19:10-11) Who
does that sound like was in control?"
In conclusion, taking us to the sight of Jesus tomb, this Christian
brother declares to us the message of hope for all of us. If
a man dies, will he live again? that early Jew asked. Another Jew
answered with more than words. In this place, this garden tomb in Jerusalem,
Jesus answered with his life. Why do you look for the living among
the dead? the angel asked gently. Then he made the proclamation
that changed all history. Forever. He is not here. He is risen.
Because He lives, you and I shall live also. He is risen! He is