Summary: Many think of the resurrection as an event from the past that just gives us a hope of the future. It is so much more than that, and it is relevant to us in our daily lives.
It is amazing how the unpredictable can terrify us. When things seem to be unsure, or we can’t possibly explain something, fear seems to set in. Most parents know what it is like to be terrified. Our children can come out with some of the most alarming, humiliating, or shocking things, all done in innocence, but yet they cause us to cringe with fear of what’s next.
One show that used to thrive on that very principle was the program, “Kids Say The Darndest Things.” There was a clip shown of Art Linkletter asking a boy about his favorite Bible story. The boy said, “That’s easy. My favorite story is the resurrection of Jesus.” When Mr. Linkletter asked the boy to tell him the story, the boy was more than happy to do it.
“Well, you see, there was a man named Jesus. He was God’s Son. But the people got really mad at Him. And so the people arrested Jesus, and crucified Him on a cross. When He was dead, they took Him off the cross, and put him in a grave guarded by army men. He was dead in there for three days when all of the sudden, He was resurrected.”
This boy had all of the theological terms right. Crucifixion, resurrection, three days, guarded tomb, how could any one ask for a more accurate story? I could only imagine that his parents were proud of him, at least until he finished the story.
The boy went on to say that when Jesus was resurrected, He came out of the tomb. Then Jesus saw His shadow, and had to go back in.
Easter is often a time that is looked upon as an event of the past that brings about a hope of the future. While that is true to a large degree, Easter means so much more than that. We have services on Easter to celebrate the resurrection event that took place nearly 2000 years ago; the event where Jesus, after being crucified, and giving His life as a sacrifice for our sin, was placed in a borrowed tomb, a huge stone rolled into place to block the entrance, Roman guards put in place to guard the body, the event where everything without a doubt was as secure as could be, and with all of that security, death, hell, and the grave still could not hold our savior. He arose from the grave! And while we view that very fact, we are able to see that with Jesus resurrection, our own resurrection from the grave has been forever guaranteed.
You know one thing is a fact. The current death rate is 100%. Every person born enters into this world as an individual that has begun the death process. Were the Lord’s return to be far enough away, we will all face that certain and appointed time. It is appointed unto man once to die. The resurrection gives us comfort for that time we all will face. It does give us comfort for a future event.
People find comfort in past events also. It is not necessary that the past event be positive for us to find comfort in it, but just that the event is past. It is behind us, and we no longer have to worry about it. Often the comfort of past events is the knowledge we have of unchangeable facts. We often hold to things in a desperate fashion so that we may have assurance of what we know to be true.
We have faith to handle the future, and the assurance of unchangeable facts to help us with the past, but often we find ourselves in the very unsettled present.
Think with me if you will about those women at the tomb that Easter morning. They had the past, but they were now uncertain about the future, and they were living in the very unsettling present. These women had walked with Jesus. They had heard His teaching. They were witness to many of His miracles. They saw and head many wonderful things. But now, those things were past. They were just unchangeable facts. They were things they could reflect upon to give them comfort as they remembered Jesus.
These women knew what the scripture taught about the future, especially pertaining to heaven, and the resurrection. They were witness to Jesus when He raised Lazarus from the dead. They heard Him say at the tomb of Lazarus, “I am the resurrection. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Jesus was their hope of the future. But now, the very hope for their future was dead.
They had the unsettled present. Can there be any doubt that these women, and the disciples for that matter, were not heavy of heart. It would be hard to imagine life without Jesus. They had become accustomed to Him being there, in the here and now.