We ought to sing it more! Sing it, indeed, until we re-discover the power of this Name. Sing it until, as Charles Wesley urged, “Happy, if with my latest breath/ I may but gasp his name, / preach him to all and cry in death, / ‘Behold, behold the Lamb!’”
We have a hope, and it is not rooted in our circumstances; it is rooted in the plan —in the very identity—of God. For those of us who struggle, who live under gathering clouds, it is not a promise that God will answer all our questions. It is promise that He will not change on us. God’s character is eternal, his promises are safe, his nature is to love and his plans for us are good. “What is of God will last. It belongs to the eternal life. Choose it, and it will be yours.”
Our Lord’s ascension is, as I like to phrase it, “Easter’s exclamation point.” It tells us that the resurrection of our Lord is not simply a miracle, something to astonish us as with thousands of other miracles; it is a re-shaping of the order of the universe; it is the death of death. It is not simply a lengthening of life; it is a re-definition of life.
Her question about, “Will you heal my daughter?” really is a big question, isn’t it? It’s not simply about her daughter. It’s a bigger question? Will you heal Gentiles? Will the gospel flow to us? Is the grace of God for us? This is the question she is asking.
Often the weeks after Easter can seem like a letdown. With our energies expended on Easter sunrise services and the other events of the day, we trudge into the following Sundays frequently missing the richness of the post-Easter Day season. The Story does not end with Easter morning and the empty tomb. We have broiled fish to eat and sheep to feed. We need to hear Christ’s voice say “peace be with you” as we’re caught off-guard when he unexpectedly shows up in our midst. Like the disciples, we need to encounter the risen Christ as we continue on the journey.