In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we focus on gifts, decorations, activities, and family gatherings. Many denominations make Christmas the most ‘wonderful time of the year.’ Yet for Jesus followers, our focus should be that empty tomb. The Lenten season leads up to the hosannas of Palm Sunday, the tragedy of Good Friday, and the silence of a grief-filled Saturday.
But Easter Sunday is much more than a smoked ham, deviled eggs, and children searching for hidden treasure all over the yard.
The reason we celebrate Easter is because it represents the most amazing and highest form of miracle we can imagine. Death loses. Life wins.
I have often wondered how the Resurrection of Jesus actually happened. Did Father God come down and peer at the bedraggled and bruised body of his son? Then breathe life into him like he did for the first Adam?
Did Jesus begin to feel each cell take on energy and warmth, wake from his stupor, and climb out of his grave clothes? Or was it truly like what is often depicted in pageants and films?
The huge stone rolls away and SHAZAM! Out pops the actor who plays Jesus. No longer bloodied and battered. Clothed in a startingly white robe with a cheesy smile on his face.
Did the real Jesus jump up and run around, so glad to be out of that cold sepulcher? Or did he quietly emerge, notice Mary Magdalene’s sobs, and slowly approach to comfort her?
The point, of course, is not how but Who. Of all the religious leaders throughout history, Jesus is the only one who came back to life. The only one who even dared to prophecy that he would be raised after three days (Mark 9:31).
If it wasn’t true, surely by this time, someone would have traced down his DNA and speculated where his body lies. But for those of us who have experienced the soul-saving love of God, we are certain of the facts. The baby of Bethlehem’s Christmas became the Savior on the cross and the resurrected Jesus who is still alive.
But an even greater truth brings me pause. The same power that brought those cells back to life lives in each of his followers (Ephesians 1:19,20). We, too, can look forward to a stunning resurrection, to leaving our fragile bodies behind, and springing forward into eternity. SHAZAM!
On the hard days when life’s chaos seems too heavy to bear, I think about that truth. Sometimes, I even speak it out loud, “The same power that catapulted Jesus out of that tomb lives in me. In the end, life wins.”
So let’s celebrate the eternal hope that the empty tomb offers. Let’s spend Easter as a day of gratitude. A day when we remember that because of Jesus — we live.
He paved the way. He made it possible for us to live in freedom. He offers eternal life to anyone who dares to believe.
©2023 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
While you’re waiting for that final resurrection, find encouragement in Day by Day: Hope for Senior Wisdom.