The ground began to shake, and the stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death, where is your sting?
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated.
Yesterday may have been the day that love (almost) didn’t win, but today is the day that Love conquered death and sin, fulfilled the prophecy, and set the captives free.
The third day rolls around, and the stone rolls away to reveal an empty tomb. Jesus reappears, much to the disbelief and amazement of those he encounters…even the disciples. Jesus had to hold his hands out, to show his friends the holes made by the nails that held him to the cross. Today, after centuries of celebration, people still doubt the resurrection of Christ. On Friday, I shared a post from Jamie the Very Worst Missionary on Facebook about how Good Friday makes me fee like a horrible Christian because, quite frankly, even as a Christian and as a theology student, it is so difficult to believe that Jesus actually rose from the dead. That doesn’t happen. Maybe he could have been in a coma, or extended sleep, or just plain unconscious because prior to the crucifixion, he was beaten within inches of his life. It could have been blood loss or even possibly act of God–hehe watch this I’ll just take a little nap and chill in the tomb till the third day–but it wasn’t. John 19:34 tells us that a soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, causing a “sudden flow of blood and water.” Modern medicine proves that the soldier pierced the pericardium, the sac of fluid around the heart. Without a pericardium, a heart cannot beat. A body without a heartbeat is a dead body. It wasn’t a nap. It wasn’t a coma. There was no form of life support in the tomb; Jesus was dead, and he raised back to life. He had to die to fulfill prophecy. I know that…and yet, I cannot wrap my very small, logical, earthly brain around the undeniable fact that Jesus came back to life. Fortunately for me, and you, and every other little brain that struggles to believe that this is possible, Jesus did not come to conquer disbelief. He came to earth to triumph over death. You don’t have to understand how or why–you need only to accept the gift of grace.
And so I have. I can remember, even as a little kid, getting choked up about Easter Sunday. A man came to earth, lived a sinless life, took on the sins of the world, and died for me. An ordinary man died for an extraordinary love. There’s a dozen or more worship songs I could quote to wrap this up, because I don’t have the words to summarize how I feel about this morning. I could say that I’ll stand with arms high, and heart abandoned in awe of the One who gave it all. I could say that the power of Christ in me means that I have no fear in life and no guilt in death. I could say that our God is greater and higher than any other, or that we are made conquerors and coheirs with Christ. I could say that forever, he is glorified and lifted high, risen and alive. There is a million ways that I could say it, and should say it, and I will; I will spend every day of my life saying these things in every way imaginable. But for now, as I spend the day worshipping and celebrating with family, I will leave it at this:
Til He returns or calls me home, here in the love of Christ I’ll stand.