Tag Archives: Easter

What a Difference three Days makes

It seems everywhere I turn with respect of churches; the focus is getting to Easter Sunday. There are a multitude of events centered on the Resurrection Sunday of Jesus, and rightly so. I remember as a boy Easter was a big deal. My mom always went all out for Christmas and Easter. I can still smell the lilacs in bloom and there still being just a hint of coolness in the air. As a family we colored eggs, a lot of eggs and all of us got new clothes. Well maybe I should qualify that last statement. I got new clothes; my sisters got hand-made clothes made by my mother. We all dressed up to go to church; we put in the extra effort to look our Easter Sunday best. It would be many years before I really understood the significance of Easter Sunday.

I have learned a very valuable lesson surrounding Easter, but especially Good Friday. I have learned that if I make a decision based on Friday and the terrible crucifixion of Jesus, I will make a bad decision based primarily on emotion. But if I will wait until Sunday [three days] then I will have been able to deal with emotions and anxiety and make a quite different decision based on faith. I am sure many believers that Good Friday were overwhelmed with terror and sorrow when they reflected on all that happened to Jesus in a matter of a week.

Resurrection Sunday makes all the difference in our lives and the world for that matter. Today we find that there is a movement to “Cancel Culture.” There has been a great unsettledness in our world, we could say that the world has been turned upside down. It is hard to find “NORMAL” in our society and in the churches. It seems that everything that was foundational has been challenged and/or censored.

We all have been living in an atmosphere of global upheaval. The pandemic is one thing, the struggles of everyday life seem to mount, and people are weary of all the chaos. If we think about our current situation, it was probably much like what the New Testament disciples felt as they saw their HOPEFUL MESSIAH – Jesus battered, beaten and bloody as he carried His cross to Golgotha’s Hill. They watched in horror as they saw the taunting and torture happen to him. I am sure those that watched that day prayed for it all to end. Finally, Jesus has died; his last breath exhaled from His body. Hope was lost, a future glory gone, and the disciples defeated. NOW WHAT?

We know the rest of the story how Jesus’ body was taken down at the request of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. His body hastily buried, and the tomb closed. Dejected and depressed the disciples went behind closed doors in fear of what might happen next. Saturday must have been an agonizing day. Just when we might think all is lost and our world shattered, God writes a NEW DAY.

Sunday, oh what a glorious day! Sunday the Lord’s Day, a day that demands that we praise and sing and jump for joy! Sunday the soldiers all laid dead, the stone is move out of the way and The Savior lives! The disciples would go on to live out their lives in the POWER of the Holy Spirit and the fact of the Resurrected Lord.

I like the REST OF THE STORY kind of stories. Just when we think it is all lost, Jesus shows us that it is just beginning. Now I must admit, it is tough to get from a Friday Fear to a Sunday Savior; without FAITH it would be impossible.

I read an article this week that asked the question, “What if Christianity is canceled?[i] What? how could that ever happen? There have been many dark times in history where being a believer was met with persecution.  The bible tells us that “in the world you will have tribulation, fear not for I have overcome the world. It could be that believers in America will soon live out their faith in persecution, like many of our brothers and sisters around the world do now. If this is so, we will be living in difficult days – but we must have confident courage that while the world’s chaos may deny and dismantle our public worship, Jesus will have the final say. So, let us rejoice in hope of the resurrection and the future return of our Savior. Let us hold steadfast to our faith in Jesus Christ as those dear saints that have gone before remained faithful.

Greater is He that is in you, then he who is in the world!

[i] https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-would-we-do-if-christianity-gets-canceled.html

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Quarantined Easter

April 10, 2020

Stay at Home orders, pandemic issues, quarantined people, drive-in and videoed services, financial upheaval and the list goes on. Obviously this is a different time for all of us. I think it is admirable how so many churches/preachers are making sure that their Easter services and sermons are going to be on the internet. My prayer is that the Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified and honored by what is done. This is serious times, so many are trying to understand the impossible situation the World is experiencing.

Sometimes I think that this Easter is analogous of that first Easter. The had self-quarantined by this time Friday; Jesus has died on the Cross with the words “It is Finished.” The disciples have all ran for fear, and wound up in a holy huddle in the very Upper Room they had been enjoying the Last Supper only hours ago. Bewildered and shattered to the core, the unbelievable has happened – Jesus is gone! In a mere week, everything changed. For us today it was about three weeks. We find ourselves also asking questions about the UNKNOWN. What do we do now? When will all this end? What will NORMAL look like?

These obviously are not the same questions the Disciples had at the time. But, questions they did have. For them as well as us we have been taking actions of SURVIVAL. As this horrific scene on Golgotha’s Hill settles into their minds, they have become isolated, and dependent on each other. They could at least embrace one another and have the comfort on not being alone.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus have taken Jesus’ body down, with the help of the women, His body is laid in the TOMB. The stone is rolled to seal it. The haphazard BURIAL is complete, so they return to the Upper Room. We like they are trying to make the best of the situation. [We have the end of the story and know what is coming then, but we don’t know the end now]

WAITING – none of us like it, most detest it! Our question is HOW LONG? Theirs was restriction because of the SABBATH – 24 hours to think, cry, lament and fear. I don’t now what happened during that SABBATH, but it must have been a very dark time for all of the Believers then. Surely, nothing like they had ever been through before. Besides, the ONE they turned to was JESUS and He was dead. We, believers must turn to Jesus during this time of QUARANTINE – use it to reflect ad think about our lives and the future of the Gospel we are to share. Many unorthodox actions have been taken by the Government and Churches. We must learn from this time – like it or not our NORMAL is no longer ACCEPTABLE. Good Friday changed everything for the WORLD; this GOOD FRIDAY should change OUR world as well.

There was so much the early believers were not in control of at the time; likewise for us. We are not hunted or persecuted, but we are stressed and stretched right now. As we go into a Friday evening into an early Saturday, I pray we will ponder where we are with Christ and renew our HOPE that this unknown – unstable time will grow us stronger in our FAITH.

Just as an additional note: I always wondered WHY IS IT CALLED GOOD FRIDAY? After some research, Good used to mean HOLY. While we might struggle with what happened, when we think of the result of Jesus’ death for SIN and the LAMB of GOD, then we can see that the actions were not accomplished by men, but the loving Heavenly FATHER. Surely, salvation is a GOOD or HOLY thing. We look at the result of something to determine if it is good or not – my opinion while going through something may or may not be accurate. Surely, it was HOLY FRIDAY!

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