The Next Chapter after the Last

The epitaph says:
“Here once lay JESUS CHRIST. He died for the sin of the whole world.
Died: 33 A.D. ROSE AGAIN: 33 A.D.”

Ito ang lead essay mula sa isang aklat na may katulad na pamagat.
(The Next Chapter After The Last. Chosen and edited by Harry Verploegh.
Copyright 1987, Christian Publications, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

The Next Chapter after the Last

by A.W. Tozer

The four gospels tell the story of the life and ministry of Jesus, and in so doing, they follow accurately the ordinary course of biography, giving the facts of His birth, growth, work, death and burial. That is the way with biography: the very word itself suggests it, for it comes from bios, life, and graphein, to write, and means the written history of a person’s life. So says Noah Webster.

Now, when we look at the Gospels we note an odd — and wonderful — thing. An extra chapter is added. Why?

Biography, by its own definition, must confine itself to the record of the life of an individual. That part of the book which deals with the family tree is not biography, but history, and that part which follows the record of the subject’s death is not biography either. It may be appraisal, or eulogy, or criticism, but not biography, for the reason that the “bios” is gone: the subject is dead. The part that tells of his death is properly the last chapter.

The only place in world literature where this order is broken is in the four Gospels. They record the story of the man Jesus from birth to death, and end like every other book of biography has ended since the art of writing was invented. Matthew says, “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb.” Mark says, “And he [Joseph] bought fine linen, and took him [Jesus] down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock.” Luke writes, “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.” John says, “ . . . There was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, . . . There laid they Jesus.” They all agree: Jesus was dead. The life about which they had been writing was gone. The biography was ended.

Then, for the only time in this history of human thought, a biographer adds to his book a new section which is authentic biography and begins to write a chapter to follow the last chapter. This time the story did not end with a funeral. The Subject, whose story should have ended at death, was once again back among men to challenge new writers to try to find enough paper and enough ink to write the rest of the story of the life that can never end. Whatever is written of Him now is written of a living man. He was dead, but He is alive forevermore.

That such a thing could be was intimated by the miracles of restoration which our Lord performed during His earthly ministry. The widow’s son was brought back to life for a brief time; at our Lord’s gentle call Jairus’s little daughter rose from her bed of death; and Lazarus, at Christ’s command, came forth bound hand and foot. These were but vague disclosures of what was to come and were at best only temporary suspensions of the inexorable law which demands that death shall always follow life — death complete and final. For these all died again, and the rule of biography was upheld. Each ended in a sepulcher at last. And that sepulcher was the period at the end of the last chapter.

What a perpetual wonder it is, then, that the biography of Jesus had to be resumed. Luke added not merely another chapter, but a whole book. The Book of Acts was a logical necessity. “He showed himself alive after his passion,” writes Luke. The rest of the New Testament gives us some idea of what He is doing now, and prophecy reveals a little of what He will be doing through the ages to come.

That next chapter after the last is the source of all the Christian’s hope, for it assures us that our Lord has put death in its place and has delivered us from the ancient curse. Death did not end the activities of our Lord; it did not even interrupt them, for while His body lay in Joseph’s new tomb, He was preaching to the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:18-20). And after three days, His spirit was reunited with His body and the new chapter began, the chapter which can have no ending.

Had Christ not risen from the dead, His life, beautiful as it was, would have been a human tragedy. Since He did in fact rise, His life has been shown to be an unrelieved triumph. The blood, the pain, the rejection, the agony of dying, the cold, stiff body and the colder tomb — these belong to the former days. The days that are now are days of hope and life and everlasting freedom.

What is true of Christ is true also of all who believe in Him. How many saints since New Testament times have lived and hoped and labored and worshiped, only to grow old and bent and to drop at last, weak and helpless, into the open grave. If that was for them the end, then we Christians would be of all men most miserable. But it was not the end. For all of God’s true children there will be another chapter, a chapter that will begin with the resurrection and go on as long as eternity endures.

The powers of death have done their worst,
But Christ their legions hath dispersed:
Let shouts of holy joy outburst —

The three sad days have quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead;
All glory to our risen Head!

He brake the age-bound chains of hell;
The bars from heaven’s high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise His triumph tell, —

Medieval Latin

“He is not here. He has RISEN!”

😀 !!! Happy Easter !!! 😀

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. TRIVIA” lang po: 😉

    Jesus was crucified on the day before the sabbath, and he said he would rise “the third day” (Matthew 16:21; Mark 10:34).
    So this is how our tradition assumed it:

    1st day (crucifixion, death and burial) is Good Friday (?)
    2nd day (next day) is a ‘Sabbath’ day (scriptural!)
    3rd day (early morning resurrection) is Easter Sunday (?)

    But Jesus also said “As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40)
    That means full 72 hours Syang nakalibing!
    (1 day is 24 hours; 3 days x 24 hours = 72 hours).

    Traditional view would make Jesus in the grave only two nights, one day and a very small portion of another day – not 72 hours.

    The Bible is accurate. The expression “the third day” here includes three days and three nights.
    Even in Genesis 1:4-13, it says
    “God divided the light from the darkness.
    And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night.
    And the evening and the morning were the first day…
    And the evening and the morning were the second day…
    And the evening and the morning were the third day…”
    (and so forth…)

    This is the most logical (and scriptural) explanation:

    1. crucifixion, death and burial is a Wednesday (0 hour)

    2. the next day was an ANNUAL ‘sabbath’ or ‘high day’ (John 19:14,31) or “Passover” which could fall on any day of the week, and that year it came on a Thursday… Para sa mga Hudyo, bawal magtrabaho. At sunset (same time as Jesus was buried), 24 hours had past.

    3. the next day, Friday, is a working day — kumbaga sa mga Pinoy, ‘ipit na araw’… Read, analyze and compare Mark 16:1 (which states the women bought spices “after” the Sabbath) with Luke 23:56 (which states the women rested on the sabbath after preparing the spices, meaning they prepare the spices “before” the Sabbath). At sunset (same time as Jesus was buried), 48 hours had past.

    4. the next day was the WEEKLY ‘sabbath’ or Saturday (bawal uli magtrabaho)… At the exact time as when Jesus was buried (just about sunset), he was resurrected. Now we have full 72 hours!

    5. the next day, Sunday (first day of the week), “when ‘it was yet dark’, Jesus was not there” (John 20:1,2). Those who came to the tomb at sunrise, instead of witnessing the resurrection at that precise time, found the tomb empty (Mark 16:2). An angel said: “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.” (Matthew 28:6) The gospels all agree in their account that the disciples discovered he was risen, and the tomb was already empty — Nowhere does the Bible actually say this was the time of resurrection.

    Maaaring sabihin nyo:
    “O e bakit walang nakaalam nung pagtatakip-silim o gabi ng Sabado kung nuon Sya nag-resurrect?”

    Hehe, malay mo naman kung maski nakabangon na Sya
    ay nagtagal muna nang kaunti sa loob ng kwebang iyon?
    At sinong Hudyo naman kaya ang makakaalam nuon,
    hindi nga ba‘t bawal magtrabaho dahil Sabbath nila iyon?
    Yung mga bantay na Romanong sundalo, nakaramdam ng lindol, pero may sinabi ba kung anong araw at oras yun?
    At ang malaking batong nakatakip sa kweba, binuksan hindi para makalabas si Kristo — kundi para makapasok ang mga disipulo Nya at ipaalam na wala na Sya ruon!

    Baka intrigahin mo na naman ako, sabihin mo inimbento ko ito. E di basahin mo ang Bible mo.

    Well, tulad ng sabi ko, “trivia” lang… but it is worth sharing. Maaaring hindi gaanong importante ang isyung yan ng saktong araw at oras. Ang higit na mahalaga ay yung naniniwala tayong si HesuKristo ay tutuong nabuhay, namatay, at nabuhay na mag-uli… at muling babalik – upang kunin ang lahat ng mga mananampalataya… HINDI NA RIN bilang “Savior” o Tagapagligtas ng mga dadatnan Nyang HINDI PA tumatanggap (maliban na lang siguro kung sila yung mga tribulation saints), kundi isang “Judge” o Hukom.
    It can be anytime – “like a thief in the night.”
    (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10)

    Handa KA na ba? 🙄

  2. […] Sabado de gloria. Ayon sa mga matatanda, mula alas-tres ng hapon kahapon (Byernes santo), hanggang sa madaling araw ng Linggo (Domingo de Pascua 🙄 kulang-kulang dalawang araw lang yun ah?) ay “patay ang Diyos.” […]

  3. happy easter 😀 dito na kami alemanya pero dami pang trabaho atsaka sarap matulog kaya tamad pa mag blog.

    homebodyhubby: ay, hoo nga pala… nabanggit you
    sa chat na mga holy week (+/-) kayo balik dyan Germany…
    oks lang yan kengkay, take your time… haba hang-over yan, pati yun jetlag. 😛

    starting this april magla-lay-low na ulit ako sa blogging, tita… andami ko na dapat asikasuhin eh. 🙂 salamat sa’yo kengkay. hindi kita malilimutan…

  4. waaa dami ko ng backlogs :(( super busy, ayaw ko nmn bsta basahin lang, gus2 ko yung ninanamnam ko talaga, alam mo nmn ako, hinihimay ko tlaga mga post mo 😀 pramis, babalik balikan ko :-*

    tc and happy easter! hamishew – XXX

    PS. welkam bak kay mami kengky 😀

    homebodyhubby: wala talagang kaso yun ‘mine’…
    ako nga kahapon lang uli nakapag-ikot sa blogosphere
    (hindi naman para ‘mag-alert’ ng commentor kundi)
    para bumati ng “‘Happy Easter!’ na i love you.” 😳

    uu nga, welkam bak tita kengkay. 😉

  5. happy easter ninong!!!
    Musta bakasyon natin?
    Beaches ba target nyo ninong???
    hehehe. . .

    homebodyhubby: sa abril, start na ng mahabang
    bakasyon ko…

    ahehe, walang beaches dito kasi nasa gitna ng Luzon ang porbinsiya namin… 🙄 pero ILOG marami! 😛 —
    may kasama pa ako kalabaw pag magsu-swim! 😆
    click you ‘to:

    ilog sa Burnay Talavera

    May kalabaw… bow! …may aliligo pa bakulaw!” 😆

    ahehe… hindi aku yun! 😛

  6. ei, punta ko baguio eh, 4 days ako la d2 haus, nag woworry lang ako sa balls ni tommy, bat parang ang laki laki at ang pintog pintog? normal b yun?

    P.S. senxa ka na, d2 ko nalagay, bk kc pag ni oflyn ko sau, mapunta sa archives mo, sms mo lang ako pag na risib mo to ha? kung pde. tnx. u cn del. pag nabasa mo na 😀

    homebodyhubby: talaga? kasama you si Bentong?
    e di ‘solo’ ni papsy at mom mo haus nyo? (jokes)

    re Tommy, kung hindi naman maitim at matigas, normal lang.
    1st, kasi mature na siguro sya para maging dadi. 😆
    2nd, tag-init ngayon — talagang ‘bumababa’ yun di ba? :mrgreen:

    yung kauna-unahan kong hamster na si Bitoy — sya ang may pinakamalaking bols, para syang yung sa mtv ng ‘crazy frog’? siguro mga 3 times namin syang naisama sa Baguio… naenjoy nya ang stays, pero na-stress sya sa mga byahe kaya mga 15 months lang ang naging buhay nya. 😛

    ok lang kung dito mo idinaan ang question mo, walang kaso… ahehe, sabi ko nga, hamster ang may-ari ng blog na ito. 😀

    may naalala ako… 🙄

    yang mga hamsters nga pala, pag ganitong TAG-INIT,
    para silang mantika minsan sa sobrang HIMBING matulog (oo, balistad sila sa nga mantika dyan sa Baguio na buo-buo dahil sa lamig).

    ang mga hamster minsan, maski nailabas mo na ng kulungan nang tulog, lupaypay sila at malambot, maski yugyugin mo ay ayaw magising — mapagkakamalan mong patay na — dahil nga sa himbing matulog… parang patay lang, pero buhay yan!

    parang yung konsepto ng marami kay Christ? akala ng marami patay na (dyinodyok na nga ng iba yung kanta)… pero BUHAY na BUHAY Sya! 😀

    kitams! di naibalik ko sa topic ng post na ito ang usapan. 😉

  7. sorry napaka late ng bati ko ng easter kasi hindi man lang makapag bukas ng internet,.. :9 basta belated kuya ha… 😀

    Kuya ang galing nung pahabol na trivia..:)

    homebodyhubby: walang kaso yun, maski late —
    buhay naman Sya anytime, di ba? 😉

  8. […] • The Next Chapter after the Last […]

  9. […] The dispensation of grace, replacing the law,
    is grounded upon the ► finished work of Jesus Christ.
    It tells men they no longer are required to live in obedience to the law of Moses, and that no ritual or ceremonial system can help secure their salvation. True, the unchanging moral law of God is still in effect. The believer in Christ does not live in lawlessness and sin, but, through the indwelling Holy Spirit,
    his life is characterized by righteousness. He knows that his
    own good works in no way contribute to his sal­vation. […]

  10. […] Beyond kwentong daga en ol dis ‘lifespan’ chorvahs:
    ◘ Read Easter Sunday post:
    ► “The Next Chapter after the Last” […]

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