Today is, as the song says, marks the greatest day in history. 3 days prior, everyone thought that death had won, and Jesus Christ was not who he said he was. Then Sunday came, and he had risen from his tomb, conquering death, and our sins, forever. The salvation of all mankind rests upon the resurrection that happened so many years ago, but still stands today as the foundation of our faith.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly, two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright, the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" Then they remembered his words. -Luke 24:1-8
I was a bit surprised as I sat in church today to hear the preacher quickly skim over the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. He then headed to Luke 15 and spent the rest of the sermon speaking about the "heavenly meaning behind the earthly stories" of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son. I love that our preacher, Brian, went away from the usual story that most people (even if they only come to church on Easter) have heard that yes, Jesus was crucified; yes, Jesus was buried for 3 days; yes, Jesus rose again like he said he would. But the message today answered the question why Jesus died on the cross and rose again. He did that to save us! Because we are the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the rebellious son who need saving! And Jesus gave his life so that we could be found and saved.
"In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:10
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3: 16-17
I am ever amazed at the mercy and grace of God who chose to do these things so that we could be with him in heaven someday, even though we have done nothing to deserve it.
Brent and I were blessed to spend Easter dinner with some members of our church family today. It's such a cool thing to sit around a crowded table with people you've known for only a short time, and discuss openly how God is working and guiding us in our lives as we celebrate his Resurrection (and also to let them know that there are civilized people from Oklahoma, even if people forget that we're a state and that there are people out there! ;)We are thankful to our friends for opening up their home to us today!
Happy Easter, everyone!