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November 30 – Life through death

“And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:23-24 

Scripture reading: 2 Kings 13:20-21

It is a bizarre episode in the life of Elisha. That statement is actually inaccurate. It is a bizarre episode after the death of Elisha. What does this quick end to a funeral teach us?

First, whatever we accomplish is done by the power of God. Elisha is dead and God still works, without human cooperation. This is a fitting capstone to Elisha’s ministry. He was just the instrument; God was the power. Elisha can leave the scene, but God can still work.

Second, God restores. The body was thrown into the grave, like Israel would later be thrown into exile. Just as the body was restored, Israel would be too. What an encouragement to them and to us who feel so strongly sin’s devastation. God can restore.

Third, God is preaching the gospel here. There is life through Jesus’ death. Death is defeated through Jesus’ own death. Or think of it another way. Exile from the garden was the punishment for Adam and Eve’s sin. Exile from the Promised Land was the punishment for Israel’s sin. Exile from the presence of God was the punishment Christ received for His people’s sin. He was exiled, but then raised to life. In His death and resurrection is our life and salvation.

How do you receive the benefits of the gospel? Through contact with the Prophet of the Lord. The man touched Elisha’s bones and sprang up and revived. The woman touched the hem of Jesus’s garments and was healed. For us, the point of contact is faith in the Lord Jesus.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for the willingness of Christ to enter into our exile that we might know the restoring grace of God. Pray for grace to be willing to be an instrument of His power.

Reverend John van Eyk has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017.

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