Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Insights

John 20

There is no greater celebration for the Christian community than Easter.  Theologians have often characterized the resurrection as the pivotal miracle of the Bible.  Paul writes of the importance of the event, “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty (vain) and your faith is also empty (vain).” 1 Cor 15:14 NKJV

The first Easter is a testament to the historical truth of the resurrection.  The ones who should have been first to proclaim the miracle and its powerful impact upon our faith were struggling even to believe.  John and Peter and the women who went to the tomb early on Sunday morning had no expectations of Jesus’ rising from the dead.  Mary Magdalene came early to the garden and was astounded that the stone had been taken away.  (Jn 20:1)  She ran to tell John and Peter, but they too had no explanation.  Isn’t it ironic that Jesus had told them plainly that he would rise in three days, but they never connected the dots!  So truth, as it always is, was self-revealing.

Consider the fact that while all of them were scrambling around, the resurrection had already occurred a few hours earlier.  We are never told the specific time when Jesus rose, we only know that it was after the Sabbath was past.  This was not a situation of hoping that God would act, He already had.  How often we are stewing about the things in our life, or in the world, and God has already performed a miracle to which we are not tuned in! 

Jesus in the early days of His ministry had told the disciples concerning His death and resurrection.  “Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. ……. He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.  John 2:19-22 NKJV  Just because someone has been told doesn’t mean they understand.  “For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.”  John 20:9 NKJV  We are so slow to understand spiritual truths.  Many pastors and teachers assume that because people have been told truth that they all “get it.”

Truth is not learned by being taught.  Truth is revealed and until the Spirit has awakened our spiritual senses, all the truth in the world doesn’t sink in.  For too many in our society, Easter is a historical event, memorialized on the calendar and accompanied by holiday trappings and spiritual symbols.  But to those who have experienced their own resurrection from spiritual death, their life continually speaks of the power of God. 

Easter is about resurrected life.  Our society has succumbed to Satan’s lies that a transformed life is not possible.  So people live in defeat, discouragement, or the doldrums.  I hope that this Easter you experience the thrill of that first one and that it is the beginning of an abundant life!

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