Pondering Easter

 

 

Is Easter just another holiday where people dress up in fancy clothes and attend a special service at a church they frequent for weddings and funerals? Could there be a much deeper meaning behind this day we call Easter?

The hymn writer says that “I serve a risen Savior”. He goes on to write that “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today”. What powerful words of truth.

Christians like most other religious groups, celebrate the birth and death of their respective founders. For us as Christians, these respective days are Christmas and Good Friday. Some people have mistakenly thought of Easter as the death of Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is due to the emphasis on His dying on a cross just three days before.

When one looks at the crosses that stand on top of churches around the world, you will see something of utmost importance. The cross is empty. Jesus is no longer hanging there. He has risen.

This is one of the key differences that separates Christianity from all other religions. Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna and all the others are still dead.. As Christians, we are not involved in a religion, we are involved in a relationship. The writer of the Book of Hebrews in Chapter 13, verse 8, tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (NIV)

Jesus is not dead. We cannot make a pilgrimage to his grave. There are no words such as “here lies” on a tombstone for us to view. Jesus is alive.

In the Bible we see several different responses to the empty tomb. When Mary first told the other disciples of His resurrection, they did not believe her. It took some persuading on her part to get them to go and see for themselves. It is interesting to note that the first person Jesus entrusted to preach the good news of His resurrection was a woman.

Another response is that of the Apostle Thomas. He would not believe this to be true unless he could see and touch Jesus in the flesh. When Jesus came face to face with Thomas, all his doubts were cast away and the apostle then makes a declaration which has since become a powerful witness in defense of Christ’s deity. Thomas said to Him: “My Lord and my God”. (John 20:28) The Bible tells us that Jesus acknowledged what His disciple said was true.

The religious leaders of that day tried to say that the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb had been paid money to look the other way while the followers of Jesus took His body and hid it elsewhere.

What is your response to the empty tomb? Are you eagerly awaiting a living Savior?

During the turbulent decade of the 1960’s in America, there were people who went around saying that God is dead. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but my God is alive and well. How’s yours?