Like most Christians, we went to church this Easter Sunday. The pastor gave a message from John 20. His sermon was thoughtful and true to the Word but I left feeling something profound was missing.
John 20:1,2—On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!”
When Jesus rose from the tomb, He changed history forever. When He commissioned the disciples to go and share the gospel it was in the context of what they experienced. The same holds true for us—the idea is not to go and tell what the disciples experienced we are to go and share what we are experiencing. That is what makes the empty tomb relevant! What makes the Easter story complete is what God is writing upon us and those who know Him now! Think about it—Jesus’ resurrection and our subsequent faith in Him as Savior, changes our lives radically!
As I write this, I write full of hope—why? Death has no sting! When I die, I go to be with the Lord who deeply loves me. Pain is temporal! No matter what I endure on earth, there is an end to distress in heaven. Sin is defeated! Regardless of my mistakes, shortcomings and errors, Jesus offers me forgiveness and stands as my Advocate before God on the day I am judged.
When we tell people only the historical account of Jesus’ resurrection we have just shared part of the story. Our neighbors are less than likely to find hope in history. Where they find hope is in history fulfilled. When you and I tell our neighbors, friends, coworkers and family what an awesome difference Jesus is making in our lives, that’s when the empty tomb truly takes on meaning. Otherwise people are left trying to find His body—because like Mary, they don’t get it.
Don’t just tell people about what God did, show them what He is doing now in your life! What we need to hear is the stories of those who have found the Messiah and who believing without seeing are blessed. Mary finally saw her resurrected Lord. That glorious meeting led to an excited pronouncement, “I have seen the Lord!” (vs. 18). How about you? Have you seen the Lord? How has the empty tomb brought you a full life and who will hear your story? Something to think about . . . in reveration!
Our job is not to manipulate or induce others to agree with us or to leave their religion and embrace Christianity. Our charge is to both proclaim and embody the gospel so that others can see, hear, and feel God’s love in tangible ways.—Richard Stearns inThe Hole in our Gospel
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)