Director of Missions

Beauty for Ashes

 

The prophet Isaiah speaking under the power of the Holy Spirit, prophesied about the coming Messiah’s ministry when  he said, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61: 1-3). Almost 800 years later, there were still tears and mourning in Zion. After the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples fled to their homes and locked their doors. Their hope of a Messiah had been destroyed when Jesus was tortured and crucified. Their grief and anguish that night was probably more than they could bear. It seemed that all hope was lost. Utter despair, sorrow beyond measure, darkness that enfolded and strangled, lamenting weeping and wailing, multiplied grief and agony of soul attended the homes of the followers of Jesus that night. 

But with the rising of the sun, a new day, Mary Magdalene made her way to the tomb to anoint her Master’s body for a proper burial. She did so to show her love and devotion and to walk in the fullness of her agonizing grief.

 “But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.  And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master” (John 21:11-16). 

At that defining moment, Mary came to realize that Jesus was alive! He was not dead. Her ashes of grief were turned into something beautiful, her sorrow and mourning had become like the oil of joy poured over the head, inexpressible joy and full of glory. The spirit of heaviness had been replaced with the garment of praise, and she fell before Him in worship. He was ALIVE! He is ALIVE!  

Revelation 1:18 “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen.” Let the whole world rejoice for our KING IS ALIVE forevermore. 

Serving the King Together,

Eric