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Death and Resurrection

 

Believers’ Resurrection

Chrysostom, early church father and orator, deplored the ostentatious public lamentations that were made at Christian funerals in his day: “When I behold the wailings in public places, the groanings over those who have departed this life, the howlings and all the other unseemly behavior, I am ashamed before the heathen and the Jews and heretics who see it, and indeed before all who for this reason laugh us to scorn.”

He complained that such conduct had the effect of nullifying his teaching on the resurrection and encouraged the heathen to continue in unbelief. He asked what could be more unseemly than for a person who professes to be crucified to the world to tear his hair and shriek hysterically in the presence of death.

“Those who are really worthy of being lamented,” Chrysostom admonished, “are the ones who are still in fear and trembling at the prospect of death and have no faith at all in the resurrection.” Then he drove home his point with these arresting words: “May God grant that you all depart this life unwailed!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Believers’ Resurrection

John G. Paton, a nineteenth-century missionary to the South Seas, met opposition to leaving his home in Scotland and going to preach to the cannibalistic peoples of the New Hebrides Islands. A well-meaning church member moaned to him, “The cannibals, the cannibals! You will be eaten by the cannibals!”

Without hesitation, Paton replied, “I confess to you that if I can live and die serving my Lord Jesus Christ, it makes no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms; for in that Great Day of Resurrection, my body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching