Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jesus' life, death, burial and resurrection was all according to scripture (1 Corinthians 15:3,4 - A reflection with a story of a Russian Jew who held unto scripture against great odds.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:3,4
What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Anatoli Shcharansky, a dissident Soviet Jew, kissed his wife goodbye as she left Russia for freedom in Israel. His parting words to her were, "I'll see you soon in Jerusalem." But Anatoli was detained and finally imprisoned. Their reunion in Jerusalem would not only be postponed, it might never occur. During long years in Russian prisons and work camps Anatoli was stripped of his personal belongings. His only possession was a miniature copy of the Psalms. Once during his imprisonment, his refusal to release the book to the authorities cost him 130 days in solitary confinement. Finally, twelve years after parting with his wife, he was offered freedom. In February 1986, as the world watched, Shcharansky was allowed to walk away from Russian guards toward those who would take him to Jerusalem. But in the final moments of captivity, the guards tried again to confiscate the Psalms book. Anatoli threw himself face down in the snow and refused to walk on to freedom without it. Those words had kept him alive during imprisonment. He would not go on to freedom without them.

“According to the Scriptures” lingers in the spirit of any believer. The story of Mr. Shcharansky illustrates the power that scripture can have on a person. For in the pages of Scripture is all that is necessary for living and salvation. We need not words or deeds, although God would like to see some deeds to along with what we say we believe, as long as we have the scriptures … the faith of which they speak.

I’m just wondering if faced with the same situation as Mr. Shcharansky if we would have acted in a similar fashion. If it came down between holding on to the scriptures, please note that he only had the Psalms, or freedom and a return to a loved one would we hold on to the scriptures, refusing to move forward without them. I’m just wondering.

You have given us a holy word. May we cherish it mightily. Hold on to it dearly. Live by it daily. Read it often. Carry it in our hearts always. Share it whenever possible. Thank you for the revelation found in those holy words.

Quote by Max Lucado from "No Wonder They Call Him The Savior" page 115:
Spices. Linen. Tomb. Fear. Waiting. Despair. Stone. Mary. Running. Maybe? Peter. John. Belief. Enlightenment. Truth. Mankind. Alive. Alive. Alive!

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