It comes every year, whether we want it to or not. While the stores are filled with bunnies and chocolates, there’s no way to ignore the underlying reason for the holiday. Church billboards and social media constantly flash the message: He is Risen!
You don’t have to enter a church to be confronted the question: What’s your reaction to the empty tomb?
Even those closest to Jesus had a hard time with it.
When the women came running back to the room to tell the news that the tomb was empty, the disciples could not believe it, because their words seemed like nonsense. If the disciples were confused, maybe you are too. After all, the thought of a person coming back to life after three days is crazy.
Or, maybe the whole thing just makes you cry, like Mary Magdalene. She loved Jesus, wanted him to be all he said he was, but now he’s gone. Maybe Jesus has left you hurting and lost, unable to see in front of your own eyes for the pain. How could he leave you? Jesus called Mary by name. Do you hear him calling yours?
The one closest to Jesus believed, though he didn’t understand the full implication of what he saw. Maybe you’re like that. You believe the tomb was empty, but you don’t know what that means for your life.
Yet, as you continue, year after year, to be reminded of the empty tomb, you become more open to encountering Jesus. Some of his disciples were too, though they stayed behind locked doors out of fear of the Jews. Even so, Jesus came to them and showed himself, bringing them great joy. He can do the same for you.
While some were open, others doubted, like Thomas. Is that what you’re doing? Waiting for real proof? Refusing to believe until he shows you his hands and his feet? Jesus met Thomas, even in his doubt. Ask, and he’ll meet you too.
Yet, the greatest response to the empty tomb is the belief that results in empowerment. That’s what happened after all the confusion, tears, doubt and trepidation were mowed away with the reality of Christ’s resurrection. That’s when true belief opened the door to the Holy Spirit and the commission to join in the spreading of the Gospel to the nations.
That’s what changed the world!
What’s your response to Easter? Are you just glad it’s over, or are you excited that tomorrow is yet another day to celebrate and share the Good News? Both are responses to Jesus and both affect your life, so choose wisely.
He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!
Grace and Peace