Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Death Had No Hold

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. (Psalm 118:17)

Jesus, you are the risen Lord, and all creation sings your praise!

I hear the very stones cry out, just as you said they would, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Even the stone that sealed your tomb is rolled away and proclaims wondrous news. Instead of being an immovable testament to your death, it has become an indisputable witness to your resurrection.

In a way, the burial cloths come alive to declare your victory. How tightly those garments of death bound Lazarus when you summoned him from the grave! They clung to him and would not release their grip until you spoke the word: “Untie him.” But death had no hold on you, Lord. You broke free in a great burst of light, and left the burial cloths tidily behind. There in the tomb with Peter and the beloved disciple, your people fix their gaze on those discarded trappings with wonder and amazement. These cloths invite me to believe that my Redeemer lives. They urge me to stake everything on your mercy and your promise of eternal life.

Selfless Savior, because of you, a cruel instrument of death now speaks to me of life. By your cross, you have destroyed the enemy and flung open the gates of salvation. Its light shines out—in our churches, in our homes, in hospital rooms, in prison cells, in the rubble of warfare, and in every dark and dreary place—proclaiming life to anyone who puts their faith in you.

So many transformed lives! So many signs of victory! Each one, in its own way, speaks to me of you. Help me to look, listen, and believe so that, in my own way, I too may become a sign that speaks of you to the world.

“Jesus, you have conquered death! You live and are always at my side! Help this reality sink into the core of my being. Show me one new step, however small, that I can take today to ‘declare the works of the Lord’ by my life and words" (Psalm 118:17).

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