Word of the Month

Remember Jesus Christ

April 2012

Apostle Paul counsels Timothy: “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Timothy 2: 8). This is not only meant as a simple reminder to think about it once in a while! Rather it is a call to action: “Visualise this event!” Let us understand this text to mean that we are to truly remember Jesus Christ! Just envision what happened on this occasion! Let us lay claim to it, hold fast to it, and allow it to have an effect upon us. Then it can become a power within us and be a blessing in many situations.

All of us live through situations that discourage us and leave us close to despair. At such times let us remember Jesus Christ so that we can once again summon up new courage. If our earthly circumstances dominate us to such an extent that we are practically smothered by them, then let us remember Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead. When the women came to the tomb and asked: “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” (Mark 16: 3), they quickly saw that their dilemma had long been resolved. The Lord had already provided for them! Many times we too are filled with cares, and our earthly concerns seem like an enormous mountain and we ask: “How are we supposed to manage that?” Yet the Lord has already seen to it that these seemingly insurmountable things can be overcome after all.

With the words: “Jesus Christ, of the seed of David,” this Bible text alludes to the fact that the Lord was also human: true God on one side and true Man on the other! He lived as a human being, He was tempted as a human being when Satan enticed Him in the desert, and He suffered on the cross as a human being. This leads us to draw the following conclusion: if it was possible—even in suffering—for the Lord at the time to say: “Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22: 42), then it should also be possible for us. I know that this requires a great deal of strength, but let us always remember that the Lord has suffered for us and that, as a human being, He lived through the bitterest of circumstances.

I often hear about the cares and needs of our brothers and sisters. I receive mail from members asking for intercession and counsel in special circumstances. My advice is as follows: “We may indeed have our wishes, and we can certainly bring them to God, but in so doing let us be guided by the statement, ‘Not my will, but Yours be done.’”

Our text also mentions the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The word gospel means ‘glad tidings’. Let us always remember that it is these glad tidings that have been laid into our souls! There should always be joy in our hearts. I know very well that our joy suffers here and there. There are many things that rob us of our joy, but let us always find a way back out of the deep valleys and regain our joy. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of this joy. After the Lord had resurrected, the disciples did not know what to make of it at first. But finally it became increasingly clear—not least of all on account of the encounters between the Son of God and various individuals—that joy was to outshine everything else. We are moving homeward! We are making our way to the goal of our faith!

Let us always remember this! Let us not allow this joy to diminish in the face of the various difficulties and problems of our time. May this fill our hearts as a message for Easter!

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)