Having just finished up a sermon, and being a little exhausted, I’m not going to write a lot for this evening’s blog entry.
But I’ve been noticing this Christmas how often Easter makes an appearance in the carols and songs of the season. I love it. You can’t have Christmas without Easter and you can’t have Easter without Christmas. Sometimes people want to just enjoy the sweet baby Jesus, without thinking what would happen 33 years later. Well, maybe it is because I had the experience of being at the birthplace of Christ, and then the deathplace of Christ a few days later this year…but I just can’t look/talk/think/sing about the baby without also being deeply aware of the cross. They go hand in hand for me.
And they should. The baby has to grow up, and do his work and lay down his life, or we’re all lost.
So on that note, I’ve been listening to this song a lot this season. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too:
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him.
Matthew 28:1-9 NLT
On Sunday of Holy Week…everything changed. The stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty. Death had turned to new life. Mourning to dancing. Grief to rejoicing. And sin to salvation.
This is why we celebrate. It is why we care about the story at all. It is why we sing and study and pray.
Because Jesus loved us enough to die. Because Jesus loved us enough to live..in order that we might live forever.
Christ is risen! Christ risen indeed.