Devotional

“Because of the empty tomb, we have peace. Because of His resurrection, we can have peace during even the most troubling of times because we know He is in control of all that happens in the world.” – Paul Chappell.

Growing up, Easter seemed to be all about me. Growing up, Easter revolved around egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, new clothes and family.  Easter is still about me, at least that’s what Jesus would say. This wonderful man whom His followers hoped would be the Messiah—the anticipated righteous King sent from God to rule their nation—was brutally seized, tried, tortured and left to die on a cross for use. He defeated death and lives on, for us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

On that first Easter, some women approached an empty tomb. The rolled-back stone surprised them. They were devastated, afraid someone had taken their Lord. “Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.” (John 20:11) The tomb suddenly consumed with the brilliance of two angels. Mary explained to them her sorrow, then turned to meet Jesus face to face, yet she did not even know it.

“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’” (John 20:15) You can imagine her distraught, confused, looking for answers on where to find her Lord. Jesus could have demonstrated His power in any number of ways to reveal it was Him, but He did not. Instead Jesus decided to speak to Mary personally. “ Mary!” Jesus said.She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). (John 20:16) In a moment so raw, Jesus could have done anything. He could have opened up the heavens and called on a chorus of angels or announced His triumphant victory over death in a booming voice. He could have made the earth beneath her feet shake.

Easter can seem big. But it is also small. It is about loving and dying for the whole world and it is about loving and dying for you. My prayer is on this Easter and for the rest of the year, you see Jesus looking into your eyes. I pray that you recognize His voice, in the midst of a noisy world, just like this personal, intimate moment shared between the God of the Universe and Mary. And I pray that God wants a personal, intimate relationship with you. Because God loves the whole world by loving one life at a time.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How is Easter personal to you?
  2. What can we do this week and every week to make Easter a part of our everyday lives?