It was bedtime and I was in my kitchen finishing the last few chores of the day…a hard day…
It was Jacob’s birthday and his picture set on our dining room table today! “Three birthdays now without you, Bud!” I said with tears. It was then that I remembered my break with birthday tradition at our house. I had forgotten to set out Jake’s baby book next to his picture. But it was bedtime and it seemed kind of silly to dig the book out of the memory drawer now! Still, I trudged upstairs to fetch the book. “I’ll only page through for a minute!” I thought, sitting down next to Jake’s picture.
The precious old book held the yellowing newspaper clipping announcing Jake’s birth 32 years ago that day! Then, I found a white envelope. Inside was Jake’s baptismal certificate. “Baptized into Christ.” I read aloud and carefully placed the certificate back into the envelope.
I turned a page and I SAW IT…an old index card with a scotch taped lock of baby hair on it! Next to the hair were scrawled the words, “Jake’s first hair cut!” Feeling like I had discovered lost treasure, I lifted the card from the book and marveled, “I FORGOT ABOUT THIS!!!” My fingers stroked the little wisp of soft blond baby hair. I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes. I could SEE that sweet little head full of hair, the mischievous smile that was Jacob! “It has been SO long since I touched him, Lord!” My throat tightened and I felt again that empty ache in my heart that grief brings! But… here in my hand was a REAL physical reminder of Jacob…A TOUCHABLE one! “So this is why I was prompted to go get his book! Thank You, Lord! What a gift!” I said and wiped away my tears! As I tucked the hair treasure back into the book and closed it I remembered something… a Bible verse that talks about hair….that “not a hair of your head would be harmed,” or something like that. I promised myself that I’d look for that verse sometime and I headed off to bed.
The “hair” verse kept popping up in my mind over the next few days but I hadn’t set down to find it. Three days later, I opened my Bible for morning devotions, looked down …and there it was!!! My HAIR VERSE! “Jesus, You found it for me!” I smiled and read, “But not a hair of your head will perish.” The verse was Luke 21:18. It was written in RED, Jesus’s own words! I read back a few verses to get the context of what the Lord was saying. Jesus was warning His followers of hard times to come! “You will be betrayed, even by relatives and friends. They will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me…but, not a hair of your head will perish.”
I questioned, “Lord, what a contradiction this seems like! You spoke to your faithful followers of their DEATHS, and in the very next breath You said that not a hair of their heads would perish!” I pondered that for a minute. “Wow!!! Is death REALLY that inconsequential…that SMALL of a thing???” I asked!
Oh, but when it takes away our loved ones in the prime of life it feels HUGE!!! Destructive and Permanent!!! How heart breaking it is to know that the physical part of Jacob, his body lies in a grave, corrupting, becoming DUST!!!
But, what Jesus says in His WORD flies in the face of death and corruption…even mocks it!!! “Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?”
It happened that first Good Friday! On the cross Jesus took in our place the WORST that death could dish out and He turned it UPSIDE DOWN…Robbing death of it’s power!!! Making it NOTHING but a passageway to heaven for those covered by His GRACE!!!
With EARTH SHAKING POWER our Death Conqueror BURST from His grave and proclaimed, “Behold, I am making everything NEW!”
That’s the miracle of EASTER! The promise of RESURRECTION!!! New DEATHLESS bodies for those who believe! Bodies untouched by age, sickness, defect or weakness!!!
Now death, that most fearful of enemies, has no permanent hold on God’s child! For Jacob and all those “Baptized into Christ”, resurrection is CONCRETE real…and death is what is limited, weak and temporary!
You know, I took out that old baby book, found the card with the lock of baby hair on it, and on the back I wrote, Luke 21:18…”but not a hair of your head will perish!”
The ONE whose grave is EMPTY has given HIS WORD on it!