Summary: An Easter understanding of forgiveness.
UN-Forgiven: The Resurrection of Christ
"Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you."
A man was blissfully driving along the highway, when he saw the Easter Bunny hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid hitting the Bunny, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of his car and was hit. The basket of eggs went flying all over the place. Candy, too.
The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled over to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become of the Bunny carrying the basket. Much to his dismay, the colorful Bunny was dead.
The driver felt guilty and began to cry.
A woman driving down the same highway saw the man crying on the side of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the man what was wrong.
"I feel terrible," he explained. "I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny and killed it. There may not be an Easter because of me. What should I do? "
The woman told the man not to worry. She knew exactly what to do. She went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the limp, dead Bunny, and sprayed the entire contents of the can onto the little furry animal.
Miraculously the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at the two humans and hopped on down the road. 50 yards away the Easter Bunny stopped, turned around, waved and hopped on down the road another 50 yards, turned, waved, hopped another 50 yards and waved again!!!!
The man was astonished.
He said to the woman, " What was it that you sprayed on the Easter Bunny?"
The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label.
It said: "Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave."
In a sense this joke is a resurrection story!
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most monumental, pivotal event in human history. It is so important and world changing that I feel overwhelmed by its magnitude, and incapable of addressing this event with words that it is worthy of. Today you will have a choice though, to walk out of this place forgiven or remain unforgiven. The offer will be made to all of us. It is the offer of the Resurrection.
I wish we could go back to that event 2000 years ago, and be there when Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb, soul and heart crushed by the loss of her rabbi and teacher.
¡ñ To know of her love for Jesus, we need to know that Jesus had delivered her from 7 demons.
¡ñ Some accounts say she is the prostitute who washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
¡ñ Mary is the last to leave the scene of the crucifixion, the last to leave the tomb after burial, and the first to arrive on the scene of the empty tomb on Sunday morning.
I watch with awe and wonder when someone is willing to give such devotion, one who is willing to embrace the pain and sadness that she embraced; to be so close to the suffering of Jesus and to linger and wait and watch.
If you have ever been in close proximity to someone¡¯s intense suffering, you know the price of intimacy that it demands.
Mary didn¡¯t hide from the pain she shared with Jesus, she didn¡¯t run from it, she went beyond merely encountering the pain, she embraced it.
Mary chose to travel through it instead of trying to avoid it by going around it.
It is clear that she has a devotion to Jesus that transcends even her own pain or discomfort, that goes beyond the ache of mourning. She is devoted to Jesus.
That devotion is the result of love. The love that comes when your life has been changed by someone else¡¯s love for you. Mary¡¯s devotion is remarkable.
1. Contrast this to another of Jesus¡¯ followers, his closest disciple, Peter.
a. Impetuous Peter, who was quick to speak, to confirm Jesus as the Messiah and moments later be rebuked for not wanting to hear that Jesus would have to suffer and die.
b. Peter who proclaimed loudly that he would never leave Jesus, yet loudly and with curses, denies him not just once, but three times.
c. And then catches that intimate glance from Jesus while Jesus is being beaten and then knows the pain of his own failure.
d. Peter, who goes away and weeps bitterly, and according to the scriptures, was probably walking away.