The cross and tomb are empty. The grave's been conquered. The sorrow of Friday has been replaced by the thrill of Sunday morning. Rejoice! The Prince of Peace is Risen indeed!
Yesterday we celebrated the Resurrection of the Prince of Peace, and today—instead of rushing forward into another book and its passages to look for peace—I think it’s appropriate (and good) for us to bask in the sunrise of the Son’s resurrection for the rest of this week. Let it fill our hearts to overflowing and wash on others around us. Ponder it anew. Rejoice in it. Absorb its good news, freedom and eternal peace. And sing Alleluia to the risen Christ!
As my pastor Mark Lansberry said, it is the most exciting and inspirational day of the Christian year.
Yes, it is more exciting and inspirational than Christmas, for without the resurrection, there would be no reason to celebrate Christmas! Resurrection Day gives us new hope, new meaning to our present and future life. The grave has been conquered, and we no longer have any reason to fear its finality. Because it isn’t final! Alleluia!
Pastor Mark points out that not only the empty tomb got the disciples’ attention, but the fact that Jesus was there with them again in the flesh. Aside from the fresh nail holes in his hands and feet, and the visible spear-inflicted gash in side, he was the same as he had been when he walked daily with them before his crucifixion.
I’ll share with you a few other words Pastor Mark said about the resurrection.
“The angel at the empty tomb explained that the risen Jesus had gone ahead of the disciples and would meet them in Galilee. Put another way, what is being said is that Jesus who died in the past has been raised in the present and he goes ahead of the disciples to Galilee where He will meet them in the future. Past, present and future find their focus in Jesus.
“Jesus is still ahead of us. We are not stuck with whatever our past may have been. We are not mired in the problems of our present. Jesus has gone ahead of us and will meet us in our future. And more than that, the risen Christ is open to all people. There are millions of people (including me) who will tell you that because of meeting the living Christ and experiencing his forgiving love they have been able to put their past behind them and begin again. They have peace of mind and a life purpose that helps them meet the challenges of each and every day.
“This is Good News. All of us are in the process of being made whole. Nothing in our life is the final word, not even death itself…The risen Jesus heals our past, our present, and waits to transform our future.
“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!"
The truth of the resurrection floods our hearts with peace—about our past, our present, and our future. Jesus promises and gives a peace, hope, and assurance that NO OTHER god or religion can make or provide. Make no mistake about it, you will search in vain all the days of your life, and be disappointed in death, if you try to find fulfillment and life anyplace else, or in anyone else.
And the best part is that He did it all for YOU!
So I invite and encourage you to spend this week focused on the resurrection joy and peace that the truth of the resurrection plants in your heart. And thank Jesus anew for the sacrifice He made to make sure that you could enjoy them and eternal life with Him!
Until next Monday, may your week be full of blessings that you receive and give, your heart be full of joy and thankfulness, and your days be filled with laughter! Build a little heaven in your life right now, and watch your heavenly garden grow!
In Christ’s love and peace,
When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on earth. ~ A. W. Tozer
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/66855284@N03/24714514794">Birds of Pray</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>