The Human Dilemma
Anytime you team difficulties with Almighty God, you will overcome them. As with the resurrection, there is no limit to what God can do for you if you trust Him.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you.
We’re looking into the closing verses now of the Book of Mark. It’s been a good study, hasn’t it, in this blessed, wonderful book of the Gospel of Mark? Well, our blessed Lord Jesus dismissed his Spirit and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus came and took that body down from the cross, wrapped it in linen and spices, laid it in this new tomb, evidently Joseph’s tomb, and went on their way. The Sabbath then was on. Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome had brought sweet spices that they might come and anoint him because he had been hurriedly buried because the Sabbath was approaching. Sundown, Friday night was the beginning of the Sabbath. And so he’d been very hurriedly buried. And they wanted, now, evidently to unroll those linen wrappings and add some more spices, which was the manner of burial in those days.
So very early in the morning, they came under the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, “Who shall roll us the stone, roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher,” for it was very great. And when they looked, they saw that the stone was already rolled away. “It was very great,” it says. Stop here just for a moment on something that has occurred to me as I read this scripture and reread it. Always, you have questions asked by people based on human potential. The question concerning feeding the crowd that was raised earlier in the ministry of our Lord Jesus. Do you recall that? “Whence should we have so much bread here in the wilderness? How are we gonna feed them?” “Why,” they said in another place, “Three hundred pennyworth of bread is not enough so that every one could take just a little. Shall we go out and buy bread and give them to eat?” “Give ye them to eat,” said he in Mark 6:37.
Same thing as… It’s a question, see, “We’re broke. We don’t have anything. We’ve got five little pieces of bread, little loaves of bread that look like a pancake, really, an overgrown pancake and two fishes.” That’s all they had. And, boy [chuckle], you can just see the dismay. “Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?” This is the question they asked as recorded in John Chapter 6. Philip said, “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one of them may just take a little.” You just give them an hors d’oeuvre, a little Ritz cracker with a dead anchovy on it. That’s just enough to make a hungry man irritated. Ah, you see, when we are up against the business of living, we come up with questions based on human limitation. And that, of course, it’s explainable because that’s the kind of world we live in. You have to deal with your limitations. You can’t jump off the garage roof without getting hurt. You learned that as a boy, or a girl maybe, if you were the jumping kind. You have to remember that there are certain limitations, human limitations.
I remember, as a very small boy, I tried to fly. I would run very, very fast and then give a big jump and seek to launch myself in the air [chuckle] Never worked, never worked. I’ve had people say that I was some bird, but I think they meant something else, don’t you? So that’s Alright, I’m not advocating any wild-eyed, hysterical fanaticism that refuses to deal with reality. That kind of an attitude gets everybody in trouble. But what I am saying is that, routinely, when we’re face to face with things that could be a challenge under God, we think about the problems. I recall, on my early trips to Europe for Youth for Christ, that the word most often occurring in every one of the countries I visited; Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, France, every one of those countries, the word most often occurring as they talked with me… What word do you think it was? Difficulty. “Brother Cook, you just don’t know how difficult the work is here. You don’t know the difficulties we face.” Well, of course, you can’t talk that down. They are real. The difficulties are real. Of course they are.
Faith is not closing your eyes and jumping off the cliff in the dark. Faith is not some kind of process by which you kid yourself into believing that what isn’t so may be so. No, faith is turning from the impossibilities of ordinary living to the almightiness of God and therein lies the difference. “Who shall roll us away the stone?” That’s the human problem. They got there, it was rolled away. Why? Because the resurrection had occurred. Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “Oh, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” He said in another place, “Though our outward man perish, yet our inward man is renewed day by day.” He said in Romans 8, “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, the Spirit of Him that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies.” You’re mortal while you’re still alive. After you’re dead, you’re corruptible. Mortal means that the Holy Spirit of God will make a difference in your body while you’re still living. He’ll give you His power, instead of your weakness. “Most gladly therefore,” said Paul in 2 Corinthians, “Will I rather glory in my infirmity.” It’s our word weakness. “And most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weakness,” you might read it. “That the power of Christ may rest upon me, for when I am weak, then by God’s grace I am strong.”
Do you begin to understand what I’m driving at here? Yes, your problems are real. Your difficulties are real. Your limitations are real. And no amount of preacher talk is going to change that, is it? So I’m not trying to get you to forget the limitations under which you live. There they are. They’re real, and some of them are tragic as a matter of fact. And some of the circumstances that some of you dear ones are in are heartbreaking, and you can’t talk them away. Somebody comes to you when you’re crying and says, “Don’t cry.” Does that help you? No, it just irritates you. So what are we saying here? Take your difficulties and team them up with the almightiness of the risen Christ; the power of his resurrection. The thing they were worrying about had already been taken care of because the master had risen. The angel rolled back the stone from the door. Alright? Somebody has said that the angels rolled away the stone, not to let the savior out but to let the disciples in. Our Lord Jesus in his glorified body exhibited a mastery over the limitations of time and space. The doors were all locked, and the window openings were shuttered and barred, as the disciples met secretly right after the crucifixion and on resurrection day. And it said, “The Lord Jesus came in the midst of them,” there he was. Who let him in? He just came in. He said to all of those atoms, wood, and stone, “Move out of the way boys, I’m coming through.”
The Creator, now, not any longer in his humanity limited to time and space, master of the universe, came in to greet them and to reassure them. What you and I are dealing with then… See, somehow I’m trying to get across to myself and to you this concept; what you and I are dealing with. Sure, our difficulties are real. Yes, the stone is in front of the sepulcher. Yes, the crowd is hungry and needs to be fed. Yes, there are needs all around us and within our own life setting that are tremendous. So then what? We look not at the need and not at the difficulty and not at the lack of strength, we look at Jesus, our blessed Lord. That’s what the writer to the Hebrews meant, I’m sure when he said, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
Some things you’re worrying about right now are already taken care of if you only would accept God’s solution. You wanna think about that? Now, I can’t particularize on that theme because I don’t live inside your skin, you do. But I know that if you’ll take this truth and apply it, it will make a tremendous difference in your life. Instead of coming up with the questions, “How are we gonna feed this crowd? Who’s gonna roll away the stone? How can this be done? Nicodemus, how can a man be born when he’s old?” Instead of coming up with human questions, take your difficulties and relate them to the almightiness of the risen Christ.
“He is able,” Paul says in Ephesians 3:20, “to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” There’s no limit to what God can do if you let Him. There’s no limit to what God can do if you let Him. So today, consciously, yield your difficulties to the risen Christ, let him handle them. You do this by faith. You talk to him, you call on him, you tell him what you need, you tell him what the problem is and then you receive by faith his answer. And oh, how wonderful it is when that answer arrives. “Who shall roll away the stone from the door?”
Well, there’s another point here that I want to just touch upon. We’ll only touch on it and then we’ll have to get together the next time the broadcast rolls around. “Entering to the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side clothed with a long, white garment and they were afraid. He said, ‘Be not afraid. Ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is risen. He is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. Go your way and tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee. There shall you see him as he said.'” The answer to fear in the presence of God is the certainty that the Lord Jesus has risen from the dead. People are afraid of God in anything but a religious setting like church and the answer to that is a certainty that the Lord Jesus has risen. I’ll get at that the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today, I pray that we may bring our difficulties to the risen, all powerful Christ. In his name I ask. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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