Easter Sunday -- hours for visitation were published, although the flower began to open Saturday evening at the greenhouse on the campus of Ohio State University. This 5-foot, 6-inch tall monster from the Indonesian rain forest unfurled its 3-foot-wide dark purple flower early this evening, to wide smiles and a few grimaces by those who got close enough to take a whiff. "It's starting to smell!" said Joan Leonard, coordinator of OSU's Biological Sciences Greenhouse. "Isn't that great?" --- information from various sources, including The Columbus Dispatch
The "corpse flower" (amorphophallus titanum) is native to the Indonesian rain forest in Sumatra but is threatened with extinction due to illegal logging and land cleared for farming. A number of commercial greenhouses have the plant which is unpredictable when it comes to a blooming schedule. One just bloomed in Switzerland for the first time in 17 years.
But the one at Ohio State University is interesting for one main reason -- it started its bloom the evening before Easter Sunday. The university has scheduled visiting hours published for Easter Sunday afternoon and all day on Monday. Its bloom will only last about two or three days at most.
What is so special about that, you may ask. Well, let me tell you, as you bear with my bit of "speculation" on this unusual event and timing of the same.
Down through the centuries the literal resurrection of Jesus has come under attack. You could expect that from the heathen religions of the world such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism as well as smaller groups and those who have but a few dozen rallying around a crackpot leader with crazy ideas.
But the skepticism and raw unbelief about Jesus' resurrection has reared its ugly head within the ranks of Christianity over time as well. It's nothing new really due to the fact that in the New Testament mention is made of those who doubted Jesus' resurrection from the dead in literal fashion.
Scholarship and research into certain areas can be a good thing or it can be a curse, depending on who is doing it and what that person's relationship to God really is. In the centuries since it has happened, the resurrection of Jesus has had some wild interpretations spring up within the ranks of those professing to be Christian in faith.
It is of no profit to detail these at this moment other than to say that one of Satan's tactics is to plant the seed of doubt when it comes to the mighty works that God has done, and this includes the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God!
The unbelief has been spread by theologians, seminary professors, church leaders, and pastors much like a cancer spreads throughout the human body. This is not to suggest that all are guilty, but even one spreading his/her unbelief in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ is one too many!
Now what does the corpse flower have anything to do with this? At least one started blooming Saturday evening before Easter and was in bloom on Easter Sunday at Ohio State University.
Perhaps God permitted this to happen as a fitting tribute to all those within the ranks of professing Christianity who cannot or refuse to believe that Jesus literally came back from the dead three days after being brutally put to death on a Roman cross! It would be appropriate to have the corpse flower placed in the home of every theologian, the office of every church leader and seminary professor, and the church of every pastor who do not believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ Who holds the title, "King of kings and Lord of lords!"
The flower emits an odor that reflects the theology of these people -- it is the odor of death and that is the state of their theology which brings death and not life to all who listen to them.
If nothing else, when you encounter those who doubt the resurrection of Jesus, you can always respond in the words of a song sung in many churches on Easter -- "You ask me how I know He lives -- He lives within my heart."
I rest my case in regard to a living Savior Who has promised to see me through everything I have to deal with in this earthly journey and He has prepared a place for me in the perfect environment for eternity (John 14).
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up; if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
--- 1 Corinthians 15:12-17