It’s THAT Sunday. The Sunday when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The angel told the three women, “He’s not here. He is risen from the dead.”
Wait. What? They had walked to the tomb early that morning because the job of preparing His body for entombment hadn’t been finished before the Shabbat began. Can you see Mary Magdalene? Slumped shoulders, the weight of the basket of spices seeming heavier than she can carry? Her thoughts likely running through all He had done for her and in her. He had freed her from demons dead set on destroying her and well on the way. And this day, her grief was so deep, I can see each step being slow, her mind forcing her to take the next one because this was a rite she could perform for her Lord. Similar thoughts running through the other Mary and Salome. Their Light was gone. Their hope was dead.
Imagine their dismay when they saw the stone rolled back. They well knew the ugliness of the religious leaders. What had they done? Had they desecrated Jesus’ tomb? Had they destroyed it and His body? FEAR! PANIC! They stepped past the entrance and saw the place where their Savior had been laid was empty and an angel sitting there. The angel said “He’s not here.” Was there a pause when their minds flashed to the thought the religious leaders had stolen His body? Did they fully hear those next words telling her Jesus had risen from the dead?
The gospels agree that they ran back to where the other believers were gathered and told them what they had seen and heard. This message, though confusing, had to be shared. The angel had said to include Peter. Even though he had betrayed the Lord, include him.
Today we celebrate that news. Oh what beautiful, wonderful, amazing, glorious news. HE IS RISEN!!!
Today, in 2020, we’ll celebrate it differently. No gathering in buildings wearing our Easter finest. No big family & friends dinner. Nothing as usual. Nothing normal.
And yet…. many churches are meeting virtually. Ours is. God has given us this gift of technology that allows us to be able to share God’s message of grace, love, and hope and we’re using it for His glory.
If it’s your tradition to be in church on Easter no matter what, plan to be there. You can visit the one I’m part of by going to the Church of the Cove Facebook page at 10:30. Dress up if you want. Stay in your jammies if you choose. But give yourself the gift of hearing that message and its deep meaning, “He’s not here. He is risen from the dead!”
I’m so proud of you! You are doing more than making lemonade from this lemony situation. You’re providing vast meals with both milk and meat for those who will be hearing. That’s totally a God-thing! You’ve gone above and beyond these past several weeks, learning new skills and new ways of doing things, continuing the things you’ve been doing while adding new roles. You are remaining obedient to your calling in spite of circumstances that could end a ministry. Praise God for you!
As you deliver a message today, whether from the church platform, your living room, or your driveway, may the number of people who hear be exponentially larger than any you’ve ever spoken to before. May those who listen hear and respond with passion to the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice for them. May the Kingdom of God grow today more than on any other resurrection Sunday before.
And may you relax this afternoon. May you feel the sun shine upon your face. May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. And also your family.