The Other Dimension

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“You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind…” Sound familiar? Those are the famous opening lines for the Twilight Zone, uttered each week by Rod Sterling back in the early ’60’s. Today, people are discovering yet another dimension to their lives…a very real spiritual dimension. Not difficult to access if one is open!

Having recently celebrated Easter, that spiritual dimension was discussed a bit more as we talked about Jesus being raised from the dead. A total spiritual event I would venture to say!! Many today wonder if indeed Christ be risen?! Do people truly believe that this could have possibly happened?

There’s a fascinating story told of Napoleon. Around 1821, shortly before he died, Napoleon was imprisoned on the island of St. Helena. A reporter was questioning him and asked, “Sir, do you believe that Jesus Christ really rose from the dead?”

Here’s the famous Napoleon who nearly conquered the entire world – he looks across the giant expanse of ocean then turns back to the reporter and replied: “You can go to the poorest of the poor in Europe and around the world, and you mention His name, and a light will come into their eyes. And you can go to the crowned heads of Europe, and you can mention the name of Jesus and they will bow their heads in humble adoration.” He finished with this, “Sir, no dead man can command that kind of respect.”

The Easter story is one of both wonder and excruciating pain. The entire scene was one of bitter contrast – we have Jesus, the Son of God – giving His life as our ransom, and on either side of Him are the two thieves. Two bandits who both deserved the death penalty.

One asked to be remembered in The Kingdom and received a full pardon. The other cursed God and died in his sins – his bravado & machismo being evident to the very end. Unfortunately, he made that one last, very wrong decision! Imagine being a gnats-breath away from entering eternity, just feet away from your Creator, and you reject the opportunity of a lifetime! He could almost see the other side as he hung on that cross, but the cursing thief chose to push away from the only One capable of reaching out to him in that final moment. What was he thinking?!

There used to be a billboard on the freeway by the Ontario Airport which read: If you think this is bad, Hell is forever! It’s true and, thankfully, it’s avoidable. I’ve always been amazed that 700 years before Jesus was crucified, the prophet Isaiah foretold that He would be crucified with criminals – “He was numbered with the transgressors.” It was planned for ages that redemption for mankind was going to happen.

In the year 1815, the Battle of Waterloo took place. All of England was waiting for news from the result of this critical battle. It was arranged that just as soon as word reached the country, it would be rushed to Winchester and then signaled to other towns by semaphore (the messaging system using flags to spell out news) from the cathedral spire.

The moment finally arrived and the words were spelled out letter by letter -“Wellington defeated…” Then suddenly the spire was shrouded by fog. The country was filled with gloom believing that this was the end of the message. But after a while, the fog lifted and the message was completed: “Wellington defeated the enemy.” Those final words made all the difference.

At Calvary, darkness tried to make out that the message was “Christ defeated.” Jesus had died. But the glorious resurrection that followed on Easter day proves that the message of the cross is that Christ defeated…our enemy: death, hell & the grave!

So, it’s back to those two little words that make all the difference – “our choice.” Lee Strobel once said something pretty interesting. Here tis: “I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved His divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following Him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take.” Works for me!!

Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you may contact them at DPCitychurch.org

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