Saturday, January 28, 2012

I know that my redeemer liveth

It's no secret that Krista and I enjoyed singing together.  It started with high school choir during our senior year.  Krista sang alto, as she always did, and surprisingly, I (despite being a first tenor) sang in the bass section.  I guess that happened because I never tried out for the choir.  At the beginning of my senior year I needed to sign up for one more class.  I already had all my required classes scheduled so I needed something easy.  I asked our school's choir director, Mr. Terry Tucker, if I could join the choir, he asked me if I could sing and my reply was "I hope so".  That was good enough for him and he put me in the bass section.  Krista and I have been singing ever since.

One of the many traditions we had was to sing Handel's Messiah during the Christmas and Easter seasons.  Krista would often sing many of the alto solos and the last few years Krista and I sang the one alto and tenor duet in the work "O death, where is thy sting".  She would often joke about "throwing down the gauntlet" each time we sang it.  But Krista's favorite peace from the "Messiah" wasn't one she performed, it is the soprano solo "I know that my redeemer liveth".  The libretto used for this piece comes from two bible passages.  The first is Job 19:25-26:

"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:"
And the second is 1 Corinthians 15:20:
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."
Krista loved the message of these two scriptures.  It's a declaration of faith in our Redeemer Jesus Christ that will overcome all.  Though we suffer and struggle in this life with pains and infirmities of all kinds we will one day stand before our Savior with perfect resurrected bodies never again to suffer the pains of mortality and thank Him for His love for us.  A love that caused Him to suffer all the pains of mortality that have ever been and will ever be so He can free us from the punishments of death and hell.

For weeks after Krista passed away I was living in a surreal, numb state of existence.  I was grieving the loss of my best friend and sweetheart.  Music was such a large part of our relationship and brought back such sharp memories that I couldn't bring myself to even turn on the radio.  After a few weeks, when the numbness started to subside and I could feel again, I returned home from visiting Krista's grave.  As I came in the house I passed the stereo in the family room and felt like I needed music back in my life.  So I turned the stereo on and pushed play on the CD player to listen to whatever was in it.  Instantly I recognized the opening notes to "I know that my redeemer liveth".  I wept as I listened to the word and felt Krista's testimony fill my soul.  He lives!  All is well because He lives.  Through this song she was sharing with me her last testimony.

Since then Job 19:25-26 has become my favorite scripture.  I know He lives and has the power to redeem us from death and hell.  And we shall all, in the flesh, see Him and kneel before Him and proclaim Him our personal Savior and Redeemer.  I'm grateful that Krista was able to share her testimony of our Savior with me. But most of all I'm grateful to know that He lives.

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