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Thursday, March 20, 1997

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Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 105
John 8:51-59

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dead ends and the live end

"Whom do You make Yourself out to be?" —John 8:53

"Abraham is dead. The prophets are dead" (Jn 8:52). Buddha is dead. Mohammed is dead. Caesar is dead. Nations, societies, and civilizations are dead. Everyone is dead or on the threshold of death except for Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25).

Jesus alone holds "the keys of death and the nether world" (Rv 1:18). Consequently, Jesus is not merely a great leader, wise man, or the most significant figure in history. Jesus rose by His own power. This means Jesus is God. He was proclaimed "Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness, by His Resurrection from the dead" (Rm 1:4). Therefore, Jesus alone can say: "I solemnly declare it: before Abraham came to be, I AM" (Jn 8:58).

Therefore, Christianity is not just another religion. It is the only religion directly founded by Christ, Who is God. Because of this, the Church is not just another human institution; it is the body of Christ and the only body of Christ. Therefore, a Christian is just not the same as every other person. A Christian is a walking tabernacle, containing the treasure of Jesus Himself (2 Cor 4:7). "Because of this we no longer look on anyone in terms of mere human judgment. If at one time we so regarded Christ, we no longer know Him by this standard" (2 Cor 5:16).

Worship Christ, share His gospel, love the Church (Eph 5:25), and reverence Christians as members of Christ's body.

Prayer:  Father, I will live in the freedom of knowing that Jesus will raise me from the dead.

Promise:  "I will maintain My covenant with you and your descendants after you." —Gn 17:7

Praise:  Martin did not return to drink when his wife died or when he lost his job. Jesus had indeed set him free (Jn 8:36).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996