Lifelines April 12, 2020

All across the world people are celebrating Easter.  Baskets, bunnies and colorful eggs usually mark the holiday, but this is no ordinary year.  Church buildings are empty.  So is the tomb, and that changes everything.

Imagine the emotions that must have surged through the disciples that weekend.  It had been a whirlwind of events.  In spite of their self-confidence, every apostle had abandoned Jesus at the most critical of times.  They stood at a distance as the brutality and the blood flowed.  God’s plan sure looked like the devil’s workshop.  Conflicting strategies at their most gruesome exposed all sides of the issue: God’s love, Satan’s evil and sin’s savagery.  That Friday tells us that wickedness wields a powerful hammer.

Saturday had to be depressing.  Their Lord was dead.  So was their hope.  It had been nailed to the cross with the One who offered it.  They had traveled the dusty roads with Him for three years, and now He was gone.  He showed them His unique way.  They were often confused by Him.  He talked to outcasts and fussed at insiders.  He loved the unlovable and touched the untouchables.  He was hard to figure.  The power structure never accepted Him. They had believed all along that He was the Messiah, wasn’t He?  But now…

Sunday was different.  It was a day that would change the world.  The women discovered it.  A moved stone and a question from a stranger, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5)” opened their eyes as wide as the grave.  And with seven more words, Satan’s absolute defeat was announced, “He is not here; He has risen (Verse 6)!”  Death has been fully engaged and conquered.  Sin has been dealt with once and for all.  Hope sprang to life again, and an empty grave proves it.

Death, burial and resurrection.  It is the message that echoes through the centuries and around the world.  It shook the establishment and still does.  It is not a back-page issue: It is the headline.  It is of first importance; a top priority (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).  It is the most significant fact of all-time, which brings us to Easter.

People all across the globe acknowledge this eternally significant event once a year.  Once a year?  Then, they put away their Bibles, baskets and bunnies for twelve more months.  Doesn’t the Lord’s sacrifice and resurrection deserve better than that?  God sacrificed His one Son and the world offers one weekend? 

“Do this in remembrance of Me (1 Corinthians 11:23ff).”  History tells us that disciples originally came together on Sunday to break that bread (Acts 20:7), to remember regularly.  Should Christians today do anything less?  Let’s move that stone, too; the one that confines it to once a year.  It’s much too important to keep in the closet the other fifty-one weeks.