by Aneel Aranha
"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there."
- Clarence W. Hall
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
In a catechism class one day, the teacher asked all eight children to hide within an empty container a small object that represented life in the spring.
Not wanting to embarrass eight-year-old Stephen, whose was slower than his classmates, the teacher suggested that the children all place their unlabeled containers on her desk. Since she feared that Stephen might not have caught on, she decided that she should open them.
The first had a tiny flower. "What a lovely sign of new life!" "I brought that one!" the donor exclaimed.
Next came a rock. "That must be Stephen's," the teacher thought, since rocks do not symbolize new life. But Billy shouted that his rock had moss on it, and moss was new life. The teacher agreed.
A butterfly flew from the third container, and another child bragged that her choice was best of all.
The fourth container was empty. "That has to be Stephen's," thought the teacher, quickly reaching for the fifth.
"Please, don't skip mine!" Stephen interjected. "But it's empty." "That's right," said Stephen. "The tomb was empty, and that is new life for everyone."
Later that summer, Stephen's condition grew worse, and he died. On his casket at the funeral, mourners found eight containers. They were ALL EMPTY.
With his resurrection, Jesus gave all of us new life in God's family, as His children and heirs to the kingdom of heaven. We should always try to live up to our inheritance.
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© 2005 Aneel Aranha. All rights reserved.