The Miracle of Easter is absolutely simple and yet utterly profound – that God, by His almighty power, brings life out of death! What was dead is now alive. Jesus died and now is alive, and because we trust what He did for us, we believe that when we die we will also be raised again to live with Him forever! Amazing! Miraculous!
But let’s review the journey that we have been on, especially since Good Friday. Remember that from the time Jesus was crucified around 9:00 a.m. until noon there was a great deal of activity around the cross. Jesus had prayed that His Heavenly Father would forgive those who had crucified Him. He had heard the cry of the penitent thief who hung next to Him, and had promised that the man would be with Him in paradise. Jesus had placed Mary, His mother, into the care of one of His dearest disciples, John. There was “bickering” among the chief priests and Pilate about the sign above Jesus’ head, that He was “King of the Jews.”
Finally, at noon a frightening, unnatural darkness fell over the scene, the first of the Good Friday miracles we observed, followed by the miracles of the Temple curtain being torn in two; the earth shaking; the rocks splitting; the tombs of the saints being flung open and many of the dead being raised to life; and the faith statement of the Roman soldiers, “Surely this was the Son of God!”
Now, on Easter morning…the greatest of the miracles – the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! “Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you.’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.’” (Matthew 28: 1-10)
Later that day, the resurrected Christ appeared to two of His followers who were on their way to Emmaus; and still later that same evening, He appeared to His followers in Jerusalem reminding them, “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled… That the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24: 44-47) Fifty days after that, on Pentecost, St. Peter proclaimed that God raised Jesus who was delivered, crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2: 22-24) Some twenty years later, Paul wrote that “Jesus… was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25) and that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred.” (1 Corinthians 15: 3-6) Jesus’ death and resurrection is one of the best attested historical facts of all time!
Jesus called the women at the tomb to share His resurrection and victory over sin, death and the power of the devil, and with fear and great joy they did so! The children know the message of life and forgiveness, and joyfully tell it! Jesus calls us “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them.. and teaching them…” (Matthew 28: 16-20)
So, will you? It is my prayer that you will! May God richly bless our efforts to share “The Miracle of Easter” as we “Reach the Lost & Strengthen the Saved!”
See you in church this next weekend!
Blessings in Christ,