This morning I reread the Easter story from John 20:1-18. Picture Mary, John, and Peter running to the tomb, a mixture of nervousness and excitement filling their souls. What if the rumors are not true? But what if they are? Not being able to wait anymore, John sprints ahead of Peter. The tomb is empty. Jesus isn’t there. Confusion sets in, but the men trust and return home. However, Mary remains at tomb unable to contain her emotion. In her anger, she doesn’t even recognize Jesus until He says her name, “Mary,” getting her to stop and think. Her friend and her Savior, who she thought was dead, is standing right in front of her. She clings to Jesus so long that even He has to tell her to let go. And then she runs through the town exclaiming the good news of His return.
You know, those of us who are Christians have a personal relationship with Jesus too. He is our friend and our Savior. We may not be able to see Him, but we have felt His presence with us. Excitement and love should overflow from our hearts when we celebrate His return, because we know what it feels like to be in relationship with Him. What would that look like? It would be radical. And it might just move hearts to listen and receive.
This morning I took the time to reflect on the Jesus’s death and resurrection. I asked myself a few questions. What does the Resurrection mean to me? Why does it matter? Here are some of the answers I wrote down.
The Resurrection means I have VALUE. I once heard a speaker say that the Resurrection answers life’s two biggest questions: Who am I? And why am I here? I know that I am someone who Jesus loves deeply. I have worth, because He thought I was valuable enough to redeem. He chose to die a horrific death, simply because He loved me. As a result, my purpose is to be in relationship with Jesus and bless others as He blessed me. I want to spend time with the person who found me special enough to die for me. And I want to emulate His actions.
The Resurrection gives me PEACE. I do not have to be afraid of this life, because I know eternal life is waiting for me. This life on Earth is temporary, but Jesus’s death and resurrection made a way for me to live forever in Heaven. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things so that in Me you have have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” Jesus has overcome. Do not fear. Victory is ours!
The Resurrection gives me new LIFE. Each morning, God’s mercies are new. No matter how much I may have messed up or how far I may have fallen, I can run to Jesus and He will accept me with arms open wide. When He rose from the grace, He took away my sin. I can do nothing to erase His grace – Jesus has already given it freely.
The Resurrection means I have HOPE. The world is fallen. I am fallen. But good will win! The angel told the disciples, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven,” (Acts 9:11). We have hope knowing that one day Jesus will come back and make everything right. He will defeat evil, once and for all. In the meantime, we should stop looking at the sky waiting. Instead, let us share that hope with others. We may live in a hopeless world, but we have the answer to give others relief.
Value. Peace. Life. Hope. What does the Resurrection mean to you? Why does it matter in your life?
Tomorrow when we celebrate the gift of Jesus’s resurrection, don’t be embarrassed to act excited. Don’t be afraid to tell others why you celebrate. And throughout the year, hold on to the hope of Easter that exists everyday for those who believe.
– – Phebe