Summary: Easter isn't an event; it is an experience - of earthquakes, darkness and silence. Around you and within you. All working together for a glorious revelation.....
EASTER: THE INVISIBLE HAND @ WORK
Easter: The greatest, the grandest and perhaps the most glorious happening ever recorded in The Bible. And yet, every year, Easter comes and goes; passing by sometimes as an event, meditated on as an ideology and celebrated with much fanfare. However to a believer, Easter is much more. It is not merely an event but a life transforming experience. Not an ideology to just hold on to but an illumination of the heart and the mind. Easter doesn't end as a celebration but is a call to action from the Lord Himself.
To grasp the true sum and substance of Easter, let us start with a 'time cutter' to slice key events in The Bible. One slice is Creation to Christmas; another, the Life and Ministry of Jesus upon Earth up to Crucifixion; then His Resurrection till the Second Coming; final slice is Life Thereafter. However, there is a thin slice wedged between His Crucifixion and His Resurrection which tends to be missed out. However, it is this 'Missing Slice' that holds the key to the amazing truth and power behind Easter.
The stage for Easter is against 3 backdrops - each one setting the scene for what is to come. At one level, each scene exemplifies the physical environment; at the next, the throes of Mary Magdalene's heart and finally a mirror to what we as individuals go through in life. Through this prism, we come to understand how Easter becomes so meaningful and can transform our attitude and values towards life, now and hereafter.
Scene I: Earthquake
Earthquakes shake you up very badly - changes everything around you - causes destruction and destruction - triggered when Calvary comes to a climax. The after shocks continue, down Friday and through Saturday onto early hours of Sunday.
Mary Magdalene goes through a similar experience. Once possessed by seven demons; her life had been in shambles. Possibly shunned by society, devoid of self worth and esteem. And then she met the Master under whose healing touch her life was restored in full. She could not only stand up with the spirit of freedom and liberty from bondage; she now could claim the dignity of her disciple brothers and accompany the Master in his various journeys. And now, at Calvary she is totally devastated. Without Jesus, her life has lost its meaning and significance. Will the demons repossess her? Without her Lord, can she stand up to the world? The earthquake in her heart cannot come to a still. Like a rudderless boat on a ravaged sea, her world comes crashing down.
However, the earthquake is not without purpose. The rumblings continue until the break of dawn on Easter to accomplish something. The hand of God from heaven moves on earth, rolling the stone away from the mouth of the cave; so that a weak, helpless, broken Mary may enter in. The stone represents solidity, permanency and invulnerability. A barrier which once set, cannot be crossed or broken. But the Hand of God moves this stone. Not only is the stone moved; simultaneously the seal of authority of the Roman Empire set on the stone is broken. Obstacle overcome; authority subjugated. Easter removes death and vanquishes its authority.
When Samson was in Gaza, his enemies plot to take his life at the break of dawn. While it is yet dark, Samson goes to the entrance of the city, uproots the gates, doorposts and all and hurls it down a valley. The door or gate on a hinge permits you to enter and then shuts you in. When the door is removed, you enter but cannot be held within; you just pass through. So also for a believer in Christ. Jesus said, " I am the door, if any man comes through Me he will be saved." This is the promise and assurance of Easter.
Key Message for a believer: If I die in Christ; I will rise again; I will live because I enter death through Him. Death cannot hold me. Death is only a 'passing through' to allow me to enter into better pastures.
Scene II: Darkness
As Our Lord Jesus commits His Spirit to the Father, a great darkness envelopes the earth even though it is midday. This darkness symbolizes mourning, despair, despondency and apparent defeat. This is also the darkness that engulfs the heart of Mary Magdalene. Jesus' words, "I am the light of the world," had truly brought the rays of hope into her demonized life. Now everything has come to an end. She can no longer move on in life. And yet; Mary is not deterred from demonstrating her devotion and dedication to the Lord. The darkness at Calvary continues through Sabbath Day and into the early hours of Easter. And while it was yet dark, Mary comes to the grave. Even while hurting, in pain, sorrow and suffering, Mary goes with one purpose in mind. To anoint the body of her Lord. Anointing is an offering; an act of worship; a sacrifice; to honor, exalt and glorify the Lord. Even if God appears to be dead, Mary's love is still alive.