Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Is Not Here

Today I want to talk to you about the most important thing I know. More than that, I want to tell you about one of the best parts of the most important thing I know. Today is Easter, so let us begin at the beginning of the Easter story. The following passage comes from the first few verses of Matthew 28: 
"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the point of grace around which all of creation exists. For that reason, it is the most important thing I know. You see, I believe that the Bible is God's Word. I believe, I know, that it is indisputable, infallible. It is the Truth. I believe that the Bible exists so that we can know the heart and will of God. And so that we can, to the best of our human ability, understand the grace and sacrifice of the Cross and the Resurrection. If you jump way back to Genesis, the very beginning, you will see that as soon as mankind chooses his own will instead of God's (sinning and thereby separating himself from God for all eternity), as soon as that happens, God, being gracious and merciful beyond understanding, provides a way for us to be reunited with Him. 
From before the beginning of time, our God has been a God of deep love and grace. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the clearest evidence of this truth. The Creator of the entire universe sent HIS Son to die in MY place, in YOUR place. Even if you have heard it before, let that sink in. God's Son suffered on your behalf, on mine. He endured unimaginable pain and shaming for you and for me. And He did so knowing that a whole lot of people would choose to reject His love and His grace anyway. 
What a picture of true love. To willingly suffer for those who would reject you. To choose that. 
We cannot imagine that depth of love, of sacrifice. 
But this is the character of our great God. 
Yes, the mercy of the Cross saves us. But it also give great glory to our Heavenly Father. The Cross speaks to His depth of His character and the profoundness of our need for a Savior. 
So back to Easter Sunday. My favorite part of the very best thing I know. The women go to the tomb to perform burial rituals. And instead of the body of Christ, they encounter and Angel of the Lord. 
His message? 
That might just be my very favorite line in the entire Bible. I love that as a follower, a true believer of Jesus Christ, I cannot go visit His grave. I cannot go worship at the place where He was buried. 
Why not? 
He is not there. 
My God was not stopped by death. My God, the One True God, overcame death and hell, triumphed over the grave and resurrected Himself so that His named would be glorified and my eternity would be sealed. 
Oh, how I hope you know this great God. He is real. He is alive. He loves you. He loves you so much. If you don't know Him, I pray that you will allow yourself to know Him. I pray that He will open your eyes to the depths and the riches of His love and mercy and grace. All you have to do is believe, ask and repent. He longs for you to turn to Him. Will you consider it? I hope you will. If you are not sure how to do it or what it actually looks like, ask a Christian in your life, or ask me. You can leave a comment or email me ( I pray that you would hurry. Our lives are quick. Gone in a flash. And we desperately need a Savior. And He has come. 
"For God so loved the world that sent His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life." John 3:16

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