Both the women and the guards are witnesses to the miraculous events of that first Easter morning. But two wildly different conclusions…Jesus is alive…fear and joy, resurgence of faith and hope reborn, eternal life, reconciliation of heaven and earth… or Jesus is dead…fear and trembling, deception and despair, death…
Resurrection proves…Jesus was the Hero (Messiah) He claimed to be…Jesus resurrection set him apart from other religious leaders, viz. Muhammad, Gandhi, Buddha, Moses…, His death did in fact satisfy God’s just punishment/the penalty for sin, Jesus is able to raise us to spiritual life, Jesus will give us eternal life. And as He promised, He will be with us always, even unto the end of the age. Do you know this Jesus? Who are you in the story? The women or the guards?
Friday I told the story of three trees that each had aspirations of greatness…one to be a box holding great treasure, one a mighty ship sailing the seas and one to be the tallest of trees pointing to the Creator. But when the woodsmen came, their hopes and dreams were dashed. The first tree had been made into a feeding trough, the second into a flimsy boat and the third into lumber.
Just like the trees, the disciples despaired. Hope was gone. Jesus hung lifeless on the cross. But just as the cross was not the end of Jesus’ story, so the story of the trees continues.
“Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. “I wish I could make a cradle for him,” her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful,” she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.
One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew she was carrying the King of heaven and earth.
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.
But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God.
That was better than being the tallest tree in the world. – The Tale of Three Trees”
The resurrection changes everything! The disciples went from despair to radically changing the world. Jesus makes all the difference. He brings purpose and meaning, real hope and change. Eternal life that starts today and never ends.
If you find yourself in the place of the women in the story…you believe that Jesus is alive then your job is to proclaim that good news (that the long-awaited Hero has come) to those in your circle of influence who don’t know the hope of the gospel. If you find yourself in the place of the guards in the story…I would invite you to reconsider. Today could be the day that you pass from death to life.
So with new meaning…Jesus is risen, He is risen indeed!
Until next time…stay salty.
This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster