Life From a Grave
Here at Rosedale, one of our favorite songs to sing is “Graves Into Gardens” by Brandon Lake. I cannot count how many people have requested it and praise the song set for each service it is included. It truly is one of our church’s favorite songs to sing together. Even the title communicates thoughts tied to this specific day of Holy Week, the day of Jesus’ burial and the grave.
The grave is a dark and desolate place known for its coldness and for its unchanging nature. It is known for being “the end” of life. It is known to haunt some of us when we think about the speed at which life hurries us to its edges. It feels so permanent, and for the longest time, it was.
One of the first recordings of the grave not holding someone within its permanent end can be found in the Old Testament. A lesser-referenced resurrection took place in Elisha’s ministry following his death.
“And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.” 2 Kings 13:20-21
This story, in its brevity, is a testament to God’s promises. God kept His word when Elijah passed the mantle to Elisha, promising a double portion if he saw him carried away.
“And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.”
2 Kings 2:9,10,12
By proxy, God kept His word through His prophet. Elisha, within his life, did not see the complete fulfillment of this promise. He did see it mostly fulfilled. Elijah, in his ministry, performed many miracles and had the miraculous happen all around him. Fourteen different moments in total. Elisha then asked for a double portion, totaling twenty-eight. However, before his last breath, only twenty-seven were made manifest. It took death, for life to be made evident. It took decay for there to be renewal. It took the prophet dying for a man to be resurrected, and in his resurrection, we can see it was not Elisha that held the power, but the God he served working through Him.
In Christ, graves can truly be made into gardens. Christ preached the message for three years to disciples, crowds, fishermen, kings, and religious leaders, that death is only the beginning. The grave is no longer an end, but a threshold to life anew!
Today’s Bible Reading:
Matthew 26:1-16, Luke 21, Mark 14:1-11