What a great day yesterday. The messages on TV were awesome, our Pastor preached a great message. We had baptism in a horse trough. Really cool. Lunch with friends. A great Easter. However, it seems hard to escape the holiday mentality. Traditions continually perpetuated generation after generation. Nothing wrong with that, except it sometimes obscures the message. How can you enjoy the traditions and keep the true meaning of Easter at the forefront. It is so easy for the religious activities to become a part of the decorations to make the traditions more viable. Now, I am no bah-humbunny or anything, but the need for expression of the true meaning of the resurrection must transcend all the traditions or eventually the traditions will fade away with the real message.
I'm far from a techy geek, but I found that the addition of Facebook and Twitter did as much to bring the real message to the forefront as anything I have seen in years. It was delightful seeing all the kids in their Easter outfits. Absolutely adorable! But the highlight of my day was the early morning FB status posts celebrating our Risen Lord. It wasn't your usual Happy Holidays, but heart felt expressions of enthusiasm about Jesus rising from the dead and what it means to people's lives today. The hope of seeing loved ones again. Victory over sins devastation and penalty. Resurrection power to live by, to do battle with. You could sense it in the air. The tweets were awesome. To be able to hear what was on the minds of the guys we follow in the Christian community. The tweets were like a clarion call. An announcement to the world. World, you may think were crazy, but this is what we believe and we loudly, gladly, unashamedly pronounce it. HE'S ALIVE! THE STONE ROLLED AWAY, THE TOMB IS EMPTY. HE AROSE THE VICTOR FROM A DARK DOMAIN AND HE LIVES WITH FOREVER WITH HIS SAINTS TO REIGN. HE AROSE, HE AROSE, HALLELUJAH, CHRIST AROSE.
The two Marys were the first of His followers to see the empty tomb. The angel sitting on the rolling stone, announced the news that Jesus had risen from the grave. "Come see where He laid." Some of us today need to see some "rolling stones". We have not experienced the power of the resurrection because some "stone" in our life has blinded us from seeing and really believing that Jesus is alive. Oh, He fits in our traditional Easter decorations; He is a part of the story and makes the holiday complete, but is He really alive to us. What stone needs to roll in your life so you can get a fresh real glimpse of a risen Lord? You don't have to move it your self, you just need to recognize it. Heaven provided the movers of the first stone and heaven will provide the mover of your stone. Is it unforgiveness that blocks your view? Is it doubt, fear, unbelief, anger, bitterness, possessions, envy, jealousy. There are all kinds of stones, but none to big to move. I've always heard the Rolling Stones were great to see. My prayer now is that some day soon we will see the "rolling stones" reveal a risen, empowering Jesus and our lives too will be changed forever.
In Acts 3 Peter and John were going to the temple to pray. They were met at the gate by a lame man asking for money. Peter and John gave him no money, but gave him new legs. "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, Rise up and walk!" He went around leaping, showing and telling everyone what had happened. They could see. They recognized the man who had been lame since birth. They all ran together to discuss what had just happened. Peter saw it as a great opportunity to proclaim the resurrection power. Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but you asked for a murderer instead to be released. I love verses 15-16 of Acts 3. These are my favorite Easter verses, because it shows the resurrection had not lost significance and power some time after the actual event. It is the resurrection that fueled the early church. Listen to what Peter said to those gathered around. "...you killed the author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And His name - by faith in His name - has made this man strong..." It is seeing the resurrection power that makes all of us strong. God, help us to see the empty tomb and its power so we can JOIN THE JOURNEY with the same enthusiasm as Mary and Mary.