Blessings from an Empty Tomb
by Z. Bulut Yasar
In Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Masque of the Red Death,” Prince Prospero and his nobles, in an attempt to escape a rampaging plague, lock themselves in a large, well-guarded castle. Thinking they have escaped death, they begin to revel and feast. The prince even stages a masked ball to entertain his friends.
At the ball, however, a mysterious figure emerges, dressed horribly as a corpse. When sPrince Prospero, enraged at the blasphemous costume, chases the figure down with a dagger, it is the prince who grotesquely falls dead. The figure is finally revealed to be the plague itself, the Red Death. Death was in the castle with the revelers all along. Death came for all. Read more
Don’t Seek the Living Among the Dead
by Robert Russell Drake
Luke says that, on Easter morning, women went to the tomb of Jesus with spices (24:12). That means they expected to find Jesus dead. They weren’t just honoring him with their spices. They wanted to help preserve his body from disintegrating and going the way of all flesh.
The women went seeking the dead one among the dead, which is perfectly natural. They thought he was dead and going to stay dead. Instead, they found the body of Jesus gone from that already opened tomb and heard two men asking a profound question and making a profound declaration: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (vv. 5–6). Read more
Preaching the Beauty of the Gospel
by Stephen A. Hoogerhyde
I recently heard a sermon in which the preacher spent much more time detailing the wickedness of man’s heart than displaying the grace of the God who saves. Given the text of the sermon, I could understand his emphasis, if not his balance.
Some who heard it thought the proportions wrong; others thought it was a good corrective against always talking about grace and never about holiness. Read more