On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!…” – Luke 24:1-6, The Bible
As a child, the Easter season intrigued me. The trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ was not a particularly pleasant thing to sit through, but the many pageants and performances of His resurrection genuinely made my heart smile. You see, like many boys, I was influenced by the heroes of comics and movies in their quest for “good against evil”. Yes, they were icons of pop culture, but the story of a valiant soul`s victory over darkness is as old as civilization itself, epic struggles being preserved in ancient books or shared around village campfires. No one is truly blind to the wickedness that exists in this world and it is as if the whole earth has been crying out for a savior.
As I sat in church today, watching the children reenact His resurrection, I was reminded of my feelings about the Lord Jesus at their age and how much those feelings have matured now. Here was someone who had come from the heavens, a gift of God to the world He so loved. His nature was divine, unearthly. Still, the message on His lips was of love and renewed relationship with God. He passed through the darkness, growing up as one of us yet letting no sin cling to Him. Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, “God with us”, was whipped, punched and mocked as a delusional criminal all the while keeping silent, even asking the Father God to forgive His tormentors. (Luke 23:34) Such rich mercy and compassion we cannot even fathom when just one word against our mother incurs our wrath. He was a hero of the utmost purity, willingly sent to battle the foulest evils of mankind not with sword or shield, but with His own life on a cross.
However, that was not the end of the story. Early on the third day after his burial, this hero returned to vibrant life, and even greater than before. The trials and temptations of living on this earth had tested Jesus and He was found worthy of glory and honor by God, just as gold that has come forth from the furnace`s purging flame. If you believe in Jesus Christ then you need to know that you believe in a God who is a winner. He is the One who has defeated selfishness, perversion and murder with charity, purity and new life. For every broken heart, He has risen. For every lost child, He has risen. For every moment when the shadow of the world closes in, compassion seems to die and justice escapes from the innocent, His back was raw with lashes, hands and feet bloodied with rusty nails, His side pierced, all for you. Yet, still, Jesus Christ has come back from the grave so that the final testimony that has endured for 2000 years would never be that what He lived to see destroyed ended up destroying Him. No, no, He lives, seated at the right hand of the Father and if you accept Him into your heart, your hero will resurrect you as well.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe… – John 20:27, The Bible