Friday, April 06, 2007


For some time, I've thought that the neatest time on earth, ever, would have been the time between Jesus' burial (in a short-term rental storage facility, courtesy of landlord Joseph of Arimethea), and Sunday morning when Jesus was nowhere to be found (but somewhere to be revealed). The reason is, it was all on the line.

All of it. Everything.

See ... one of two things happens. Jesus comes out of the tomb, alive, or He doesn't. If He doesn't, then His remarks about coming back, somewhat "veiled" though they were, would have been lies. If so, He would not have been Who He said He was. And if not, then He would have been no Savior at all.

BUT ... if He comes back, then it validates everything He said He was. Personally, I don't think He was "idling" over in a corner, just waiting for the alarm clock to go off so He could jump back in. On the cross, He said He was committing His Spirit to His heavenly Father, and that made the next move God's. Not the Man, Jesus'. Thus, when Jesus shows up alive, again, it was God the Father Who did it, and thus it is God's affirmation that Jesus was exactly Who God says He was, and Who Jesus represented Himself to be.

In our lives, we seldom put ourselves in a position like that. Where God has to come through or else we're sunk. We normally want to control our destiny. The strangeness of that is that we have to do just that in order to be saved, but we seldom want to do that with any other aspects of our lives. What makes for further irony is that, when God comes through for us when we're helpless on our own, it's a Spiritual high that will change our lives.

Consider the apostles in the boat when Jesus calmed the storm. He'd sent them into the storm, subsequently invited Peter to go for a walk with him, and then climbed in and shut down the wind and the waves. The guys then worshiped him, the first time they ever did that! At least I've never seen any reports of of their worshiping Him prior to that; not even when He turned water into that "forbidden libation" at Cana.

If He didn't rise again as He said He would, then He's not alive today. And He didn't ascend as He said He would, and the promise to send the Holy Spirit didn't happen either. And Pentecost didn't happen.

And on and on.

Proof? You want proof? I've always heard that, if a prophecy is fulfilled by someone who stands only to lose by its fulfillment, that's pretty convincing evidence. Like ... if I prophesy your house will burn down and then I set fire to it, that's not prophecy. But if YOU accidentally set it afire, then that's another matter.

Well, the big hunkies in the state religion bribed the guards to say the Body had been stolen. You don't bribe people to tell the truth! The guards and the pharisees themselves testify to the fact that Jesus was, indeed, resurrected.

I'd love to have been alive back then. In addition to witnessing the greatest time ever, I'd now be a couple centuries old, and I'd be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

I wish you a wonderful, blessed, and meaningful Easter.


At 9:35 AM, April 06, 2007, Anonymous marie said...

The only proof I need,
Is that He is alive in me!
His death so many years ago,
Brought Life, as His Word foretold.
His life for mine,
What a deal!
Taste and see, He's for real!!!

Happy Resurrection Day!


At 1:42 PM, April 07, 2007, Anonymous Cyndi said...

I'm pondering your insight about putting ourselves in a position where we need God to come through or we're sunk. Great insight, one that I'll have to chew on to see how that applies in my own life. Thanks (again!) for making me think. Cyndi

At 3:17 PM, April 07, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Hi Cyndi. I wrote once about having the Holy Spirit in our lives .. and having Him do something only He can do. Kind of like having Luciano Pavarotti sing for us, or Bill Gates write a huge check. If they don't DO that in our midst, if they don't manifest what makes them what they are, there's no special purpose to their presence.

And it's not that I put Him to any sort of test. It's all about going about His work, here.

I'm reluctant to post about the miraculous things God has done in my life, for several reasons. But some of them have been real lulus.

Thanks for commenting.

At 8:45 PM, April 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dearest mighty...
have not chatted with u in a long while, but i do stop by ur blog ever so often, and as i have mentioned before.. i thank Jesus for u cos u make me think..
well i "thunk" about what u said..and as u had told me many times.. i need to allow GOD to be GOD..and yah..many times still i need to do that.. not me but HIM and yes HE does come thru EVERY time.
lov u much and may Jesus continue to bless and use both u and aunty.

At 9:01 PM, April 07, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, Izzy. We do love you much, too.

At 10:57 PM, April 07, 2007, Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

I'm excited about living now. I think that Jesus will be coming soon and I'm looking forward to it.

At 7:24 PM, April 08, 2007, Anonymous Robin said...

Hey Bob :)...Here following your comment to PW today, funny boy, you are ;).

And I must say, an interesting way of looking at the Resurrection. No matter how the story's told, it's the most amazing one EVAH!

Been a day, hope yours has been as well. This is how I'm decompressing, lol, blogging.

At 7:51 PM, April 08, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Hi Robin. Thanks for looking in. Feel free to stop in any time and comment.

I have a somewhat unusual way of seeing Spiritual Stuff cuz I got no formal ree-lij-ee-us edumacation at all. So I don't know how it is I'm supposed to think.

Anyway, thanks for commenting.

At 5:42 PM, April 12, 2007, Blogger Debbie said...

Bob: I just heard of your mini stroke. I love you Bob and you are in my prayers. I can't imagine a hospital keeping you long. :) Make this a short visit. OK?

At 7:50 PM, April 12, 2007, Blogger GuyMuse said...

Read about your mini stroke on Wade Burleson's blog. Hope and pray you make a quick recovery.

At 8:19 PM, April 12, 2007, Blogger Bart Barber said...

Get well soon. I've got two or three things I want to argue with you about :-) But seriously, my prayers are with you and for you.

At 8:41 PM, April 12, 2007, Blogger Micah said...


I just heard, from Wade's blog, of your medical issues. I wanted you to know that you are loved and are being prayed for. Get out of there soon, man!

Psalm 67

At 1:46 AM, April 13, 2007, Anonymous bryan riley said...

Bob, speed back to recovery to the glory of God! We are praying for you here in England!

At 2:31 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Strider said...

Hey Bob, just thought I would stop by and let you know that someone 11 time zones away is praying for you. May God bless you and keep you. But as he keeps you I do hope he lets us borrow you for a little while longer! Rest well, get well and we look forward to seeing more comments from the pink-hatted one.

At 5:43 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Paul Burleson said...


If you need a vacation you can come to Oklahma and I'll take you up to Enid and we'll insist Wade buy us both a steak supper, you DON'T have to check into a hospital.

Seriously...we are praying for you and trust God will put you on your feet quickly. One thing I know for sure is whatever God's plan for you, you've already said "amen" to it. We love and appreciate you very very much.

At 6:18 AM, April 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your comments so much. Sorry for your health problem. Do you take ‘lecithin’ and fish oil? Both are good for clearing blood vessels without side effects. Lecithin is nick-named the ‘rotor-rooter’ of the blood stream.

We rejoice in His Resurrection but cannot fathom the His Father’s pain in punishing OUR sins that Jesus accepted in hell.

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” could only be answered by His Father’s tears.
Oh, how He loves us. Oh, how Jesus loves His Father.
Rex Ray

At 7:17 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Karen Scott said...


CB and I are praying for you and Peg. Now that you are feeling better, hers will be the harder job of keeping you straight (ha!). I hope to be able to spend time with you both again soon.

Love, Karen

At 7:41 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bob,

Just wanted you to know of my prayers for you as you recover. What a neat post.


At 7:52 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Bill Scott said...

I just wanted you to know that as soon as I read the comment by your son about your TIA that I began to pray for you Brother.

I have had three small strokes since August myself. I KNOW what your are going through. I had to go through 12 weeks of PT/OT. I just started going back to work half days a few days a week. I am thankful that your symptoms are improved.

I miss your theological insight! I hope to see your posts again soon!

I am praying for you still.

Bill Scott

At 9:05 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Debbie, Guy, Bart, Micah, Bryan, Strider, Tim, Bill:

Thanks so much for the kind words and thoughts. And especially for prayers. I'm over it and home now and there don't seem to be any lingering effects. I do hasten to add it's hard to tell if you're normal if you think very much about it.

Try it sometime.

Paul: I've been looking for something to do the last week of May and had actually talked to Peg about coming go OK. This is her year to go to Hilton Head Island, that week, with her sisters, and I occasionally go places that week. I'll let you know.

Karen: I'll give CB a call this afternoon. Thanks for checking in this morning.

At 10:12 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

We met at the Baptist Identity Conference at Union University. I enjoyed talking with you there.

I read about your health concerns. I want you to know that we are praying for you and hoping that you will soon be back to your same old self - giving God the glory for all he does.

Tom Hearon

At 10:21 AM, April 13, 2007, Anonymous Mark Richardson said...

Hello Bob,

Great post! I've never blogged with you here, but I've read your comments on Wade's blog. I love your pithy wit. Please know there are people you don't know that are praying for your full recovery.

In Christ,
Mark Richardson

At 11:54 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger joerstewart said...

I occasionally catch your post, and I wanted to let you know you are in my prayers.

At 3:33 PM, April 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to Wade's blog, we can send our best to you. Praying for a quick recovery.
Should you need a change of scenery and a REAL vacation, come to Montana. Let me know.
Ken Colson
State Music
Montana SBC

At 8:36 PM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Eddy Williams said...


I am praying for you and asking God to restore you quickly and completely. I enjoy reading your comments on Wade Burleson's blog. Get well real soon!


At 10:30 AM, April 14, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Tom, Mark, Joe, Ken, Eddy:

Thanks so much for the kind words. I'm home and seem to be fine, so apparently no after-effects. In fact, I'm going to go to Raleigh Avenue Baptist Church tomorrow evening and hear CB Scott preach at revival there. That'll be your basic acid test.

I really appreciate the prayers.

At 11:24 AM, April 14, 2007, Anonymous [r]weaver said...


Hope you are still recovering "gracefully".

Also... in reference to your thoughts on the resurrection of the Christ...

While the period around the life/death/resurrection of Christ were undoubtedly some extremely eventful (and Divinely appointed) days... I subscribe to the belief (however short-sighted or selfish) that these are some of the most influential days in the history of the Church... and the world. And yet without the resurrection of the Truth... there would be no need for the expediency of our faith-filled actions.

This world is more connected (and simultaneously fractured) than ever before. May the expediency of our actions echo upon the hearts of this generation...



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