Imagine the most desperate, dark, painful moment of your life. Imagine the loneliness, pain, anxiety, confusion, frustration, and raw emotion you felt in that moment. Combine all this with the great fear and confusion of having just watched your best friend, your teacher, and the One you had left everything behind to follow, suffer mocking, torture, and crucifixion. As the disciples witnessed Jesus being snatched from their hands, illegally tried and convicted, mocked and tortured, and ultimately forced to carry His own cross to Calvary where He was crucified, one cannot imagine the desperate sorrow in their heart.
As Peter, John, and the other true followers of Christ awoke 3 short days later, one can’t begin to imagine how they still mourned for the one they had confessed as Messiah. The memory of His terrible death must have been fresh on their mind as the women went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus and to mourn (Luke 24:1, 2). You can imagine through the tear stained eyes how Mary, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, in exhaustion from mourning, how these women must have been both startled by the moved stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus but numb to the words of the angels who said “why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)
Imagine the time in your life where all felt hopeless and lost, when God showed up and ‘rolled the stone away’, how did you feel? Exhilarated? Joyful? Awestruck? Imagine your pounding heartbeat, the butterflies in your stomach, knowing something amazing has and is happening, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of what Jesus’ closest friends and family must have felt that first Easter morning. As the women ran back to Peter, John, and other disciples, they did what any of us would have done… they ran to see for themselves (Luke 24:12).
In the Easter story we see how in just three short days God can take despair and sorrow and turn it in to joy. That first Easter morning as Peter and John found the tomb empty with the grave clothes folded and neatly stacked (John 20:6, 7), God even then was giving us a precious object lesson. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) and all that He has said and promised will happen, He alone is able to see through.
Today as Christians all around the world celebrate Easter, I pray the joy that filled the hearts of the early church would fill our hearts today. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ we see the pinnacle of God’s plan for salvation and redemption for mankind. Simply put, each one of us are born dead in sin, separated from God. God, not willing that any should perish, sent His only Son Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:2). In the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus we see the plan of salvation that God has had for mankind since the beginning of time. As you leave today, a few reminders on this Easter Sunday:
-God loves you (John 3:16)
-Jesus is the only way to salvation and eternal life (John 14:6, Acts 4:12)
-No one is righteous or justified before God (Romans 3:10)
-Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord is salvation (Romans 10:9, 10)
-Salvation and eternal life are a free gift from God, bought and paid for by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8)
You can be forgiven and free. If you’ve never felt the joy of an Easter morning knowing that Jesus Christ is risen, please visit http://www.myemanuel.com/i-am-ready and learn more about the great love that compelled God to give His only Son to die for us so we could be forgiven and free (John 3:16).