“The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.” – Matthew 28: 8-10.
No matter how many Easters I have celebrated in my life, it never loses its wonder and significance to my life. How can it? As I reflect on the day so long ago, I cannot comprehend what I read in the Bible. The cross, the suffering, the grave, the stone rolled away, the resurrection, the gift of eternal life Jesus gave to me that day. I find myself turning away when watching The Passion of the Christ. Our Savior is brutally whipped beyond recognition—so brutal I want to scream at the screen “enough, please let it end.” Yet no film can capture the ordeal our Lord actually endured both physically and mentally as He, without any hint of guilt, was crucified on our behalf. Isaiah in chapter 53:3 wrote this: “He was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” Verse 5 adds, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole.” John 19:30 says, “When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. Jesus died and was buried in a tomb, but He did not stay there.
Without the risen Savior, there is no Christian faith. As the Apostle Paul said: “And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.” (1 Corinthians 15:14). The resurrection is not only real, but relevant. The reality of the resurrection is central and critical to everything we believe. The evidence is compelling. Jesus rose from the grave. It means that I no longer have to fear anything, including death.
Because of the resurrection, we are part of a great missionary movement. Whether personally or corporately, the church of Jesus Christ is taking the message of His death, resurrection, and the promise of eternal life worldwide. Although some reject the gospel or even label us, we can’t afford to keep the good news to ourselves because it has the power to give eternal life. We each have a responsibility to tell family, friends, and co-workers about Jesus’ offer of salvation.
As we have done the last few weeks, I challenge you to invite people you know to our Easter services. The Bible tells the story of the man from Ethiopia who was searching for God. He was leaving the city, reading aloud from Isaiah chapter 53, that happens to speak of the suffering of the Messiah. But this man from Ethiopia did not understand. He needed some help. As it turns out, God had directed Philip, a follower of Jesus to wait in the desert for further direction. As Philip saw the approaching entourage, with the foreign dignitary reading out loud from Isaiah, he approached with a question: “Do you understand what you are reading? (Acts 8:30) The Ethiopian said in verse 31, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?”
That is what people who do not yet know the Lord are really saying, “how can I, unless someone tells me me?” We can tell them about the resurrected Savior if we bring them to church Easter Sunday. It’s as simple as reaching out and asking.
- What does Easter mean to you?
- How should the Easter story impact our lives daily?
- Who do you plan to invite to Easter services?