Easter Morning, After The Night

“The cross is the victory, the resurrection is the triumph…The resurrection is the public display of the victory, the triumph of the crucified one.” ~Leon Morris

"He is not here; he has risen..." ~Matthew 28:6 (NIV)

“He is not here; he has risen…” ~Matthew 28:6 (NIV)

Matthew 28: 1-3, 5-6 (NIV)

 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  2 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.  4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.  5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

As children, my brothers and I would get an Easter basket with sugary peeps, pastel eggs, & rainbow-colored jelly beans.  We were unified in our disdain for the bitter taste of black jelly beans.  Sorting through the basket grass, we separated the sweet jewel-toned beans from the black.  As a group, we each gave a handful of black jelly beans to Dad who willingly received them without question.

With Easter approaching,  my childhood memory of black jelly beans became a simple analogy of salvation — bitter sin surrendered to a loving heavenly Father — forever gone.  As a Christian, to celebrate Easter is to remember the cross — God’s gift of love and everlasting life to a lost and dying world through the crucifixion of His only son, Jesus.

We focus on God’s love for us, but Jesus loved us too.  Willingly, He gave his life for us.  As part of the triune God, Jesus could have avoided Calvary.  He took the nails for me, for everyone… My sin, all sin, by death on the cross.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8 (KJV)

“As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep…  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”  ~John 10: 15 & 18 (KJV)

A sacred memory of my childhood Easters was watching the yearly televised King Of Kings.  During the crucifixion, I would weep with remorse, gratitude, and love.  I always anticipated the resurrection with excited awe.  As an adult, I can only imagine the lost despair and grief of Christ’s friends and family following his horrific death.  The long dark hours of night…

Then came Easter morning.  An empty tomb. A risen Savior.  Victory over sin and death.  God’s promise fulfilled.  Jesus Lives!

 … at dawn on the first day of the week… He is not here; he has risen, just as he said…” ~Matthew 28:1 & 6 (NIV)

“I know that my redeemer lives…” ~Job 19:25 (KJV)

Prayer:

“Dear Lord, I praise you for Easter.  Thank you for Calvary, the forgiveness of sins, for your love.  I thank you for everlasting life and because of Easter, I worship a risen redeemer.  I love you.” Amen.

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~ by Debbie Richardson on March 28, 2013.

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