The Fountain Pen, Centre Wellington Edition
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The Resurrection Factor

Web posted on April 14, 2017

Light For The Journey

By Rev. Royal Hamel

There lay my twin brother, Roger, immobile on the hospital bed, sheet pulled to his neck, his face the color of ashes, no longer clawing for each breath. Death had won. Just 24 hours earlier I had sat beside him, my arm around his naked shoulders, talking with him, loving him, willing him to live, as he fought for every labored breath. For hours we sat connected, twin with twin, as my dear brother battled for life, almost as closely joined as we had been in our mother's womb some 55 years ago. Roger's wife looked on with astonishment, for my twin and I had been separated for most of our adult lives. And, I think she didn't know how much I loved him, indeed, I'm not sure I knew myself. And now he was gone. Roger, Oh, Roger when will I see you again?

Driving home that night I was amazed at my calm. I'm taking this much better than I thought, I told myself. I eased myself into bed without waking my wife; why should I disturb her sleep with such sorrow? Sleep came, morning came, then grief came like a crashing hammer.

Whenever I thought of Roger (and I thought of little else) I saw in my minds eye an image of a boy pulling a cart. I knew what it was. When Roger and I were around five years old we found an old metal cart, the kind racehorses sometimes pull. In our play I was always the "rider" on the single seat and Roger was the "driver" positioned between the long shafts. Connected like this, he pulled me all over the farm day after day. Roger was the leader, the driver, the in-charge twin, he set the course and determined the route.

But the day would come when the other twin must lead. For I had found a pathway that Roger didn't know. As a young man I had become a Christ-follower. And I knew, oh, I knew, that even as Jesus rose from the dead, they who follow him must rise as well. For Jesus said, " everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

There had been doctors and tests and more doctors and more tests, but suddenly Roger's health took a dramatic turn and he was hospitalized. He wasn't a religious or spiritually oriented person and had often boasted, "I'm not afraid of death, after all it's a natural part of life." But when there was little time remaining Roger wanted to hear about the path I had found. With uncommon mixture of sorrowing joy I told my twin how Jesus had died to bear the penalty of our sins. Told him that Jesus calls us to turn from our sins, and to believe in Him alone as our substitute. Yes, I told him of the ancient, life-giving pathway open to those who believe. And my dear brother, like a newborn fawn struggling to its feet, tentatively stepped onto that sure pathway of faith in Christ.

Easter is the season of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians all over the world joyfully celebrate that Jesus truly rose from the dead. We do so not only for His sake, but also for our own. For His rising from the darkness of death assures His followers that they too shall successfully cross over and greet Jesus, Pathfinder, and Firstborn from the dead.

"Spirituality" is the current religious fad in our culture. And I don't doubt that do-it-yourself religion may give solace in the short term. But I, for one, refuse to put my trust in the little "god within me" to get me through the black hole called death. I think it more prudent to trust the Pathfinder who passed excruciatingly into death and then out of it. For, yes, Jesus destroyed that destroyer by resurrection and now sits at the right hand of God the Father.

Oh Roger, when shall I see you again? Will the connection be restored? In the resurrection then? Yes, in the resurrection, at the last day, I will greet you again.

Royal Hamel is Assistant Pastor at Kitchener Waterloo Chinese Alliance Church. He is the author of, Unmuzzle Your Inner Sheep, a freelance journalist and past president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Guelph.. Contact him at