This is the Day!
This is the day!
This is the day that gives us hope. Not "I hope so" kind of hope, but "I know so" kind of hope. This is the day that gives us confidence of a much larger life beyond this often sad world in which we live, this world that doles out so much misery and suffering in countless ways great and small.
This day and its ancient events is the very linchpin of our faith. As the Bible says, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. . . . If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." It's true. If Christ has not been raised then we have given ourselves to an empty and vain deception that offers us only an illusion of hope, nothing more. But . . .
Christ has been raised from the dead. No less an eyewitness to the events than Jesus' very close friend and follower John himself testified, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life - the life was manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us - that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you."
As the disciples were trying to sort out the many and varied reports of that day, Jesus himself appeared among them, startling and frightening them with his presence. To assure them that he was indeed alive he offered them that most convincing proof - his own body, once tortured and crucified, now gloriously alive. "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands, his feet, and his side. Those hands and feet pierced by Roman nails, that side torn by a Roman spear. He then took a piece of broiled fish and ate it in their presence. He was alive!
So what does this day mean to you? Is it just another religious holiday among many? Is it just another day? Or is it the greatest day in the history of the world?
The greatest day in my life was the day in which Christ found me as a 13-year-old boy. I wasn't looking for him, but he sure was looking for me, like a haggard little lost sheep in the mountains. He put me upon his shoulders with rejoicing and has carried me ever since. But as great as that day was for me, the day Jesus rose from the dead was the greatest day in the history of the world because anyone, no matter how dirty and sinful, no matter how guilty and filled with shame, can be made clean and new and have hope of that much larger life beyond this often sad world in which we live.
Our hope is not that he will make all our problems in this life go away. In fact, when you decide to become his follower your life in this world may become even more difficult. But as I often say, "The destination is worth the journey." Beyond this dark plane lies a land of wonder and amazement that has no boundaries. And there we shall see him who suffered and died to allow us to live there with him.
You want to come?
Everybody's welcome, no one is refused.