Every year, right after Valentine's Day, the stores begin to fill their shelves with fluffy bunnies, delicious chocolate candies, and pastel plastic eggs. It is the first glimmer that spring is just around the corner, and the prospect of summer is not far away.
At the same time in churches around the world, a very special story is being told. The story of Jesus’ death on the cross, and the Divine resurrection three days later on Easter morning.
I recently was wondering if we have heard the story so often that we sometimes forget the great impact that the resurrection had on the world. I was also thinking about the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
At Christmas time we can turn to virtually any channel to find this movie playing at some point during the season. It has a great and timeless message. How would our world be changed if certain events did not happen in our life? And that is when I thought how would the world be if the Resurrection never happened?
What if the story went like this? Early on Sunday morning Mary Madelene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and other women went to the grave of Jesus, and took spices to prepare his body.
As they came to the tomb, they immediately saw the huge stone that blocked their way. With all of their strength they rolled back the huge rock to uncover the tomb in which Jesus lay.
They went to work quickly. The women wept, for they realized that all Jesus had spoken about was gone. Their teacher will never teach again, and the hope they had in what he promised was dead, and they suddenly felt alone. It was a dark day. All they could do to honor him was to take care of the body and tomb. They understood, life would just have to go back to the way it was before Jesus began His ministry.
Darkness, loneliness, and hopelessness are words that we can describe the above fictional story, but there is “Good News.” The Resurrection did happen. When the women went to the tomb, the stone was already rolled back, and they found nothing but a linen cloth.
Two men in shining garments asked the women “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” In other words, Jesus is not dead He is alive, and then they said: “He is Risen!” Luke 24:1-12
So many of us live in a dark, lonely and hopeless world, but there is no need to because Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead.
He promised to come back, beat death, and He kept His promise. Not only that, Jesus promises that anyone who believes in Him will also live forever,
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28
The resurrection of Jesus means that Jesus is not just another religious teacher, Jesus is Lord. And that has changed the entire world.
It is not about the bunnies and chocolate, although I love chocolate, or the pastel eggs, it is about the lasting impact that the truth has on us.
We attend church because Jesus is Lord, we sing hymns because Jesus is Lord, our children go to Sunday School because Jesus is Lord.
We wear a cross because it is a symbol of hope and life. We help others because Jesus the Lord calls us to.
We live forever because “Jesus is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.”
ED. NOTE: The author is pastor at Dias Creek United Methodist Church. To contact Rev. Bolton, email firstname.lastname@example.org.