This past Sunday was Resurrection Sunday. It was the first time in a long time that I didn’t have to preach at least once during that holiest of days. Sitting with the folks and worshiping as a regular congregant was a treat. Even a diehard parson likes to do that once in a while. That’s especially true when there’s a good preacher delivering the message (which there was this past weekend).
During worship, we sang a tune that I had never sung prior to that service. In the lyrics was a line that referred to God the Father as a Grave Robber. Being a sucker for clever expressions, that stuck out in my brain.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who’s ever gotten that sensation. At least one other person has written a book, a curriculum, and study materials surrounding that theme. From what I can gather, it’s more of a spiritual how-to book, but the title points to something far beyond anything we can do for ourselves.
Even as Christians, we often forget about the uniqueness of our faith. I used to hear it said when I was younger that proponents of other religions can point to the place where the remainders of their founders are buried. We can’t do that. Our “founder” didn’t stay there long enough for the spot to be permanently identified (although we try). The point, of course, is that he is risen (“He is risen, indeed!”).
We serve a risen Savior. That is matchless. It’s also inconceivable without faith. The grave of Jesus was robbed. No human body snatcher was the culprit, however. God the Father called his Son forth from the tomb, angels rolled the stone away, and the rest is His Story.
American Christian Punk
I did a little research and discovered that the Christian rock group, Petra, recorded a song entitled “Grave Robber” many years ago on their album, “Not of This World.” It was released back in 1983, and I had forgotten all about it. So the concept is not altogether new. Having been reminded of it, I went back and listened to some of the songs. Great album…
Checking further, I found that there is now a group called Grave Robber. They are described as an American Christian punk group who primarily play horror punk. Don’t ask me what that is. I’m definitely out of the loop on that genre. Still, the concept lives on.
If you listen to the lyrics of the Petra tune referenced above, you’ll notice that Jesus is the Grave Robber in their version. The grave he robs is ours. The chorus states:
And the grave will come up empty-handed
Jesus will come and steal us away
Where is the sting, tell me where is the bite?
When the grave robber comes like a thief in the night
Where is the victory, where is the prize?
When the grave robber comes and death finally dies
I guess that sums it up pretty well.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]