On Free Will (3): Dead or Alive? (Devotional)

Phyllis Nissila


Man of the Cloth


On finest thread—

Deity or deceiver?

From time to time

Some forensic pilgrim

Probes microscopic remnants;


Hope like breath

All strain to view

The body:

Is it the Man

Who split time, or

Some old thief?

In the end

Science claims

Neither relic

Nor remains;

Continues analysis–

And the faithful



There are mysteries in the religious world such as the true nature of the famous Shroud of Turin. Some think it is Jesus’ burial cloth. Others believe the stains within its folds could be the witness of anyone who suffered similar execution centuries ago.

To me, the Shroud serves as yet another symbol of God’s greatest gift: free will. With no definitive answers, the choice is ours.

Yet even if science were certain and we could view Christ’s DNA on that piece of ancient linen there will still be those, unfamiliar with the bigger picture, who disbelieve. As Jesus noted, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31 NIV).

For believers, however, the choice is not about relics, but about Jesus; not about the dead, but the Living.

Persuaded by the power of the Holy Spirit infused in Scripture, we bow not to stains on some old piece of cloth but to what is embedded in the Text and in our hearts as we say, with Peter, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).

Whence our certainty?

Parallel to Jesus’ words above: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

See what you can find in the pages today.




Photo from the public domain.


This entry was posted in Christian poetry, Devotionals, free will, most recent posts, On Free Will, poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to On Free Will (3): Dead or Alive? (Devotional)

  1. I love the fact that our savior gave us a choice to choose him and that makes all the difference


    • pnissila says:

      Thank you, godspoetby choice! I love your “name.” I was touched by your profile story. What a remarkable father you have. What a remarkable Father we both have :).


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