We have been following along daily with the book, Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days by Trevor Hudson. We will post daily and you can stay up to date from home.
Sunday, April 12
Read Mark 16:1-8
“Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,
who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.
Look, there is the place they laid him.”
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! This Easter greeting reminds us that God’s action in raising Jesus is the bottom line of our faith. On the third day, after his crucifixion, Mary Magdalene, Mary, mother of James, and Salmone find Jesus’ tomb empty. The love that Jesus proclaims, the love he lives, the love he is, is not defeated by the powers of evil and death. This is breathtakingly good news. No faith could be more tragic, no belief more futile than Christianity without its risen Lord. It would be sad and foolish to base our lives on a dead hero.
The strongest evidence for the Resurrection is the transformed lives of Jesus’ disciples. How else do we explain the sudden transformation that took place in their lives? Within days those frightened and grieving disciples are transformed into bold and courageous witnesses willing to die for their faith. Something most extraordinary must have taken place for this to have happened. The One whom they follow is raised from the grave, and they encounter him in a way that convinces them he is now living beyond crucifixion.
The Resurrection means much for our lives today. Jesus is present with us as our loving Friend. He is available to each one of us in our struggle with the forces of evil. We too can experience “little Easters” in the midst of those things that make us “die” each day–the betrayal of a friend, the cruelty of a colleague, or even the failure of a dream. Easter reminds us that the risen Christ is always able to bring light and life where there seems to be only darkness and death. What wonderful good news this is! We are indeed Easter people living in a Good Friday world.
We can celebrate this good news: The risen Christ is in our midst. He continues to make available another kind of life to anyone and everyone. He has promised that all those who seek will find. May the words of Paul be our prayer today: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death” (Phil. 3:10).
Our yearly book, Jesus Top Forty, can be downloaded here.