The King is dead! No – not the King of England but Elvis Prestley – or is he? Elvis died some years ago but through his films, videos and fan clubs he lives on. There are fans who insist that he is physically alive. It has been quoted, ‘The reward of great men is that long after they have died, one is not sure they are dead.’
Alice Marie Knight tells the story of two brothers, Ahmed and Omar. Each wished to perpetuate his own memory. Omar proudly had an obelisk erected at the crossroads of a much-travelled caravan route. On it was carved his name and some of his greatest accomplishments. There it stood for decades of no value to anyone.
Ahmed chose a different and worthier way to perpetuate his memory. He had a well dug beside a desert highway and date palms planted beside it. Weary, thirsty and hungry travellers could find rest and refreshment beneath the fronds.
Travellers blessed Ahmed’s name and called him Ahmed the Great.
The King is dead! No, not Elvis, John Wayne or King George the 6th but Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Jesus Christ was sarcastically referred to as the King of the Jews. He is supposedly dead, but is he? There are no films or videos, just a few biographies and written records about his existence. Each subsequent generation seeks to eliminate his name from the world scene without success.
At the mention of his name, many people become angry. His name is used as a swear word. He is reviled.
The crowds watched as Jesus was crucified between two criminals. Joseph, one of his followers, took his body from the cross and entombed it. They all knew he was dead. When his followers arrived at the tomb the next day they found the stone rolled aside and the tomb empty. The shroud neatly folded and placed where his head had lain. What had happened to his body?
Jesus demonstrated his resurrection by living amongst his followers for several days eating and drinking with them. Thomas, the doubter, even touched Jesus to prove the Lord was alive. The full story can be read in the book of Luke chapter 24.
Elvis may live through his films, Omar his obelisk, and Ahmed his oasis, but Jesus is alive. He is the only great man to overcome death and live. Everyone who believes in him will live also. Jesus explained, ‘I am the one who raises the dead and gives them life again. Anyone who believes in me, even though he dies like anyone else, shall live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and shall never perish.’( John 11: 25 – 26 LB)