This is an article I wrote for the Flaming Sword several years ago, I found it and wanted to share it on the blog. Isn’t it wonderful we have a RISEN SAVIOR!!!
Have you ever been in an empty house or a room without any furniture? Everything you say seems to echo. Travis and Corey, my two son’s, enjoy yelling as loudly as they can in the large shopping mall’s open areas, just so they can hear the echo. Often as a child I would sing or holler loudly to hear it echo off the woods and hills around where I lived. There is something about an echo that grabs your attention, and makes you listen. An echo is a strange phenomenon that is caused when sound bounces off of objects. Sound travels about 300 meters a second that is approximately 984 feet. That is fast. A really good echo will return after several seconds. Smooth rocks echo well like those found in caves. Being enclosed almost all sounds will echo in a cave or tunnel. How that must have echoed in that empty tomb as the angel asked those poor, mournful, weeping, confused women, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” How it must have reverberated in that empty tomb as those angels said excitedly “HE IS NOT HERE FOR HE IS RISEN” Oh how that tomb resounds in victory. “He is not here for He is risen.” He’s alive and well and all that remains are the grave clothes and blood stains. He has atoned for Adams fallen race. “The English word “atonement” comes from two words “at onement” and denotes a state of togetherness and agreement between two people” according to the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.
Hear the echo of the empty tomb as it shouts out the good news;
“FULFILLMENT” PAID IN FULL The price is paid. I don’t think this truth fully impacted those poor women that day, but there came a day when suddenly the light dawned upon them. I like to think that one day when they were in the upper room praying and waiting on God prior to Pentecost, someone stood to their feet and began to read that beautiful prophesy in Isaiah 53:4-6 “Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Perhaps Cleopas began to expound upon what was read, how that Jesus, when He was walking with them on the road to Emmaus even though they did not know it was him, “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”Maybe Cleopas went on to explain that God had laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all meant that, Jesus carried our sins to the cross, he fulfilled God’s demands for a sacrifice. We cannot give anything to secure our salvation, it’s already paid. HALLELUJAH! Sing it louder than the noise of the war and strife, sing it louder than the clamor of the world. Sing it louder than the falling stock market and financial crisis. Let it ring from shore to shore. The debt for your sins is paid in full.
Jesus cried aloud from the cross, “It is finished.” He has won the battle, he is victorious. His sacrifice is accepted. He has fulfilled it all. Listen to it echo down through the corridors of history, past all of the charlatans and wolves in sheep’s clothing and thieves and robbers who tried to come another way. “I am the door, no man can come to the Father but by me,” and again, “I came not to destroy the law but to fulfill.” How that tomb echoes with fulfillment.
The tomb also echos in, FORGIVENESS – From the cross Jesus cried, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In His last agonizing hours, Jesus softly spoke those words to the thief on his side, “This day be with me in Paradise.” Now as He steps from the tomb with the blood of THE LAMB to ascend to the Holy of Holies in Heaven, one thing is in mind to present Himself before the Father, to, as Charles Wesley wrote, “He ever lives above for me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood to plead. His blood atoned for all our race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace. Five bleeding wounds he bears, received on Calvary; They pour effectual prayers, They strongly plead for me. “Forgive him, Oh, forgive,” they cry. “Forgive him, oh, forgive,” they cry. “Nor let that ransomed sinner die.”
The tomb echoes and reechoes with the beautiful song of grace and forgiveness. Is it any wonder Mary fell at his feet, or that Thomas cried, “My Lord and My God” or Peter somewhere between Calvary and Pentecost found that forgiveness and could rise and preach under the powerful anointing of the Holy Ghost, “This is that…” Acts 2:16, and “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) What a promise those who will call on His name will find forgiveness.
Listen to the tomb as it echo with FREEDOM – Jesus declared, “ I am the way the Truth and the Life,” in another place it is written, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” That leads us to a rather logical conclusion. To be free you must know the Truth, and oh what freedom he brings. The songwriter put it to music this way, “Glorious Freedom wonderful freedom, no more in chains of sin I repine. Jesus the glorious Emancipator, now and forever, He shall be mine.” Is it any wonder that John Newton when he found Jesus the resurrected Savior he sat down and penned those immortal words. “Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see.” Jesus had given him freedom real freedom. Jesus gives us that kind of freedom, freedom from sin and carnality. Freedom hear it echo, listen to the sound from those who were bound but now are free, really free. Jesus was freed from the bounds of the grave clothes. He was loosed from them, death had lost it’s grip upon our Lord. HE WAS FREE. He wants to give us the same freedom.
For neatly two thousand years that tomb has echoed and will echo forever in victory and triumph over the world the flesh and the Devil. Hallelujah! It has brought fulfillment forgiveness and freedom to a lost and dying world, it has given us the hope of everlasting life with Christ, the one who emptied the tomb, and let it’s joyous shouts echo for eternity. Listen to the echo from the empty tomb.
Watch this video of the Talley Trio as they sing “He’s Alive” written by Don Francisco.
Husbands are commanded in Eph. 5:25 to love their wives. Notice that this is an unconditional commandment. There are no exceptions, asterisks, or amendments in the verse. In fact it is compared to the love Christ has for the church. There is a concept to dwell on this week, do I love my wife like Christ loved the church?
I have been thinking lately, what are some ways we can show our love to our wives? Now I confess that this is not an exhaustive list but rather a springboard to get your creativity flowing in ways to keep the spark alive in your marriage, and the love bank account in the black.
1. Act so you are easy to respect. It is so easy for us men to try to demand respect, while it would be so much better for both if the husband lived in a way that was easy to respect. When conflict arises, (and it will give it time) do you speak in a way that is condescending or in a, “I told you so!” style? Do you raise your voice? Do you say hurtful hateful things? By avoiding these things you are actually helping your wife live up to her commandment Eph. 5:33 to submit and respect you as the head of the home.
2. Do whatever necessary to maintain your faithfulness. We live in a sex crazed culture. It is our responsibility as Godly husbands to be sure that there is no other person, absolutely no one else involved in our marriage. Now as I mentioned we live in a sex crazed society, and men are bombarded daily with pictures, provocative coworkers, and just people we pass in general who do not subscribe to the need for modesty. We need to build a fortress around our mind and heart, so these mental images do not interfere with our marriage. We show our love by keeping our mind, heart and body for no one else but our wife period!!! Heb. 13:4 Matt. 5:28
3. Schedule! Schedule! Schedule! Keeping the romance alive will take time and effort. One way husbands can show their wives they love them is by giving them their time. Block off days or hours of the week that is only for them. Let them know that there will be no checking Facebook, emails, twitter, or even answering phone calls. Let her know it is just you and her. Take a night a week or at least once a month for a date night. Schedule it in and don’t let anything get in the way of that. I understand that young families with children may face difficulties with finding babysitter, however this can often be resolved by a neighbor, a niece, or even another young couple who will swap nights with you babysitting your kids on your night, and you babysitting theirs on their night.
4. Learn your wife’s “Love Language” If you have not read the book The 5 Love Languages you need to. I would also encourage you to take the Five Love Languages Test You may also take this test and have your wife take it as well. Share with each other what you have learned about yourself. Talk specifically about her love language and needs. Men and women think differently. We men assume our wives know we love them, but we need to let them know in a way that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we love them.
5. Marriage is not for you! Love is always about the other person. In our marriage relationship, love is about her. What can I do to make her happy? What can I do to make her smile? To make her day better? We must understand that marriage can be a wonderful institution, but it was intended for so much more. It was instituted by God when he created a wife for Adam out of his rib Gen. 2:21-22. I think this shows us more than God created men first. Ask yourself why God created the woman? It was not good for man to be alone Gen 2:18. So God created a help mate from his side. Adam was then to honor, cherish, and love her. Eph. 5:25 tells us husbands to love our wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. We need to give ourselves not so much to, (although that is a wonderful thing) but for our wives. Sacrificing us for them.
These five suggestions to love your wives will help keep the romance alive. But these five suggestions are not the end all or an exhaustive list. I trust you will also think of some more ways that you can show your love to your wife, and post suggestions or comments below.