Wineskins Archive

December 7, 2013

The Message of the Table: The Resurrection and the Life (June 2012)

Filed under: — @ 9:15 am and

By Keith Brenton

They read almost like a footnote to the main narrative – these two verses of 2 Kings 13:20-21 – “Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.” The man’s name isn’t given. His fate isn’t disclosed. Something so astounding – life arising from death, without a breathing, speaking prophet as the channel of it – should seemingly deserve more information! But, like the army raised from dry bones before amazed Ezekiel,[1] no more is said of the matter.

In fact, the short passage reads almost like the two verses of Matthew – not disclosed in any of the other three gospel accounts: “The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”[2] No names. No details. And yet, those few words communicate the power of resurrection unleashed on the earth at the very moment Jesus died. Who these “holy people” were seems to be of little or no consequence compared to the fact that they lived again, and that the power of resurrection was associated with Him even after His death.

Two spare verses say it all.

A Prayer for the Bread
Creator and Sustainer, we are completely humbled by Your power to create life from the dead; to raise children unto Abraham from rocks and earth; to bring dead works to life through faith in Christ; to bring life back to those who have passed beyond it in the body of Christ. For this bread, which both recalls it and builds it up, giving life to the dying, we give You our awed thanksgiving through Jesus: Amen.

A Prayer for the Cup
For the lifeblood that flows through our veins and arteries, O God, we give You thanks. It should have been required of us to atone for our self-filled sins, but You provided Your very own dearest blood; that of Your Son Jesus. It took the place of ours as His life took the blame for ours. We remember it throughout this life in the sharing of this cup, on which we ask your blessing through Christ: Amen.

1. Ezekiel 37

2. Matthew 27:52-53

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