“Hound of Heaven” Meditations: 35. Exalted in Reality
Isa 52:13c “and shall be exalted.”
Easter Sunday must have been a roller-coaster day. For the disciples, when they awake and ease into consciousness, all of the things of two days ago would have come flooding back, all of the self-recriminations of yesterday were still there. Oh God, another awful day. Then the women went off on a foolish, pointless, and hopeless errand to anoint the body in the tomb. Hopeless because the tomb is sealed. Pointless because it’s too late. Stupid women. And they continued to wallow in anguish and defeat.
But then they come running in, flushed, incoherent, almost gibbering meaningless words. He’s gone, they’ve taken him, the tomb is empty. Oh, come on! How sick is that! The authorities have back-pedaled on their decision to allow Joseph to bury him, they’ve come and taken him to no doubt bury him somewhere else that is anonymous, where we can never honour him. Typical! We’d better go and have a look.
And then it starts happening. Individuals encountering someone who looks like him, sounds like him and….. yes, it has to be… but how can it be …. he’s dead. No, that’s not right, he’s no longer dead. It has to be him… but how? And suddenly all they think they know about him goes through the roof. He died but he’s alive. What…? Who….? Oh, my goodness, it’s true, he’s ….. Yesterday it was all about memory; today it’s about who it is with us still, here today, alive! This exalting is grounded in fact, we can’t deny it. We’ve seen him, we heard him, and soon they touched him. It is as John was to write many decades later, “we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him,” (1 Jn 1:1,2) and Paul was to detail the many people who witnessed this amazing fact before he returned to heaven. (1 Cor 25:5-8). This was ‘the hound’ establishing the reality of His chase. It HAS to be received, HAS to be followed forever! As the song pounds it out: “He’s alive, he’s alive, he has risen. Hallelujah”. The most glorious day of history (that the enemy tries to cover up with Easter eggs and bunnies) when the power of God triumphed over the Sin of mankind, grabbing it by the scruff of the neck, hauling it into court with the bellow: “Sentence paid, case dismissed, set them free!” And down through the centuries millions have flocked through that court door and declared, “I see, he did it for me!” and so, as that other old song says, “My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee.” So He continues to pursue us, calling – you are free! Amazing! Awesome! Wonderful! Glorious! Yes!!!!!!!!