Monday, April 25, 2011

Are you over the hill?

Are you “over the hill” now?
Well, it depends on what you’re calling “over the hill”. I’ve always thought of it as 40, but some of my friends say it’s 50. I want to take a moment and tell an amusing story.
A friend of mine turned 40 a few years ago. I got together with his 2 sisters and we planned a birthday party, with a few twists. We put together a slide show of his pics that everyone could find. Then we contacted the funeral home in the next town and arranged to use the hearse for the evening. His pastor agreed to take part in the ceremony, and a wooden box was built. The stage was set. Invitations were sent out, with instructions to meet at the funeral home.
Everyone gathered at the funeral home except for his wife and me. We told him we would be going out for supper later that evening. There was a “funeral procession” to his house, where the driver came to the door and got him. He was offered the chance to ride in the back of the hearse, but he rode up front. We then had the procession to the church.
The wooden coffin was set up at the front, and the pastor gave a rousing eulogy and the slide show was shown before the service concluded. A great time was had by all, and it is still the most memorable 40th birthday I have ever attended. I don’t think he ever got over it.
Now that we’ve shared a good laugh and one way to be “over the hill”, I want to look at another way.
There stood a hill; a procession was making its way up the incline. Wooden beams were hauled up to the top, on the back of the person who was center stage. There would be no hearse, no pastor this time.
Matthew 27: 32-37
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
This time it was no joke. Unfortunately, there was a lot of celebration. Satan knew he had finally won. The Jewish leaders felt confident that this thorn in their side was finally going to be out of their hair for good.
But this happened instead:
Matthew 28: 1-10
 1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
“I’m baaaacccckkkkkkk!”
They thought He was dead. They thought he was buried. But here He is, alive and well. Just as He promised and it was foretold by the prophets.
We think about Jesus’ walk on earth, his crucifixion on Golgotha, but do we really remember what counts the most? He is alive again. We get too hung up on what happened during His ministry on earth, read where He was crucified, and arose and went to Heaven. Ministry done. Healings done. Miracles completed. Game over. We forget that the same Jesus who walked on this earth is the same Jesus that lives today. Nothing has changed. We can still have the healings and the miracles that happened as recorded in the 4 gospels. The bible is not a history lesson. It continues on.
So I ask once again, “Are you over the hill?” Are you ready to accept and receive what Jesus can do for you today? He healed me, he’s healed my friends, and relatives and friends of my friends, simply because we believed. We took Jesus further than the cross and accepted that He is alive and well today.
There are some religions that are sure He is dead. Some say He was a prophet, or a very nice man. Some say he was used by Satan to trick mankind.
I say He is and forever more will be!
What do you say? Are you over the hill? Will you let Him be your Savior, Friend, Healer, Guide, etc (the list can go on and on and on)?
Please consider making a change in your life, your heart, and your eternal future today, before time runs out.

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