"Jesus vs. Death" (Resurrection Sunday)

Before I forget, let me wish each and every one of you a very Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Every year, we spend time on Good Friday reminding ourselves just how hard that day was for our Lord Jesus Christ--and just why exactly you and I can still see that as a “Good” Friday, insofar as we are concerned.  On that first Good Friday, Jesus faced the cross and died for our sins--God in the flesh died to pay for all of the things that we have done in our flesh that utterly ignore or even disregard what He sculpted for us in our lives.  That’s an amazing blessing, even as it is a painful remembrance.

But as we say every year, “Friday was hard... but Sunday is coming...!”

On that first bright Sunday after that first hard Friday, the women came to the tomb to prepare Christ’s body for burial, since they hadn’t had the chance to do it properly, what with the Saturday Sabbath kicking in.  What they found was amazing...

An angel had rolled the stone away, terrifying the Roman guards there to make sure that nothing happened to the body of Jesus.  But something had happened.  Not only had Jesus died for our sins on Friday, but then He rose from the dead on Sunday, becoming the trailblazer of our own resurrection-- the first one to be raised from the dead perfect and imperishable... just as He’d promised His disciples earlier.

In fact, He’d explained that to them so many times earlier that the two angels sitting there at the tomb were genuinely surprised to see the women there with the burial preparations.  Why on earth would you need to prepare for burial a body that was no longer dead?

The truth is, throughout the Bible, God promised not only to help His people, not only to save His people by redeeming them--by buying them back and paying for their sins--and not only to love His people and live with them as their God, in their midst; God also promised to break the power of sin and death once and for all.

Since the first sin--since Adam and Eve messed things up in Eden--the shadow of death has loomed over all of Creation.  Every person is born, lives, and dies with the fear of death hanging over them like a dark and terrifying sheet that blocks the light of hope.  But God promised through Jesus to lift that sheet, to tear through that curtain, to burst forth with His light, and to become the firstfruits of those who will live in eternal life with Him in perfection.

So when we celebrate Resurrection Sunday, we’re not just appreciating what Jesus did on the cross for us.  And we’re not just appreciating that He didn’t stay dead, but that we serve a living God.  We’re also appreciating that the dawning of that first Resurrection Sunday is also the dawning of the first day of eternal life that each of us will be living with our Lord.

Praise God! 

Now go tell someone else about that today...