Easter time of redemption, forgiveness, eternal hope

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"He has risen!" "He has risen indeed."

Among the bonnets, little girls in dresses and little boys in suits, the old responsive call to worship rings out on Easter Sunday.

Yet the first Easter morning there wasn't so much confidence. Worry and grief plagued the women as they stumbled to the grave, while fear and shock drove the men into hiding.

What would they do now? Where would they go? For more than three years they had followed Jesus. For more than three years they had seen miracles. For more more than three years they had learned so much from the great storyteller. For more than three years they had come to see clearly that he was sent from God and he was one with God.

That morning there was worry driven by fear.

Seventy-two hours earlier these men and women could not have imagined they would be where they were.

In three short days their world had been turned upside down. They were betrayed by one they thought loved them. Their Lord who they saw feed thousands with little, call the dead out from their slumber, speak boldly before hypocrites and whom they saw walk on water stumbled to the hill of the skull to be carried away to lie in a borrowed man's tomb.

Christianity hinges on the resurrection of Jesus. Easter Sunday is so much more the candy eggs and baskets. Easter morning is the completion of redemption. Easter is the offering of forgiveness and eternal hope.

Perhaps one of the reasons we don't like the idea of the crucifixion and resurrection is intrinsically most of us are opposed to the notion of dependency. We do not like being dependent upon anything or anyone to fix our problems. Even in our homes if there is a problem with our plumbing we call a plumber. But we are the ones who call. They answer to us because we pay the bill.

With the resurrection, with forgiveness, with grace there is nothing in our control. There is nothing in our power. We are unable and in capable of doing anything to address our separation from God. Only Jesus could do that. Only he can restore. Only he can forgive. Only he can make completely new.

As dawn approached the women stumbled to the tomb to find it empty. He had risen, he had risen indeed.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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