A few weeks ago at MOPS we were asked what our favourite holiday was and why. I didn’t hesitate. I wrote Easter in big letters. Sure, I’m a gift giver and love the thrill of birthdays. I really enjoy Christmas with all the festivities and all the fun. But there’s only one holiday that makes me glad to be alive. That year after year makes me realize how big God is and how much He cares for me and my life. There’s only one holiday that causes me to shed tears of joy. Every year as I look at a cross in a church or on a card, I’m so grateful. The story of Easter comes without all the trappings and commercialism of Christmas. The story of Easter is the reason to sing and as I take a break this weekend to be with family, I wanted to share briefly about why I love Easter so much.
Maybe you had to read the story in school or heard about it in Sunday School but it means nothing now. Maybe you think that it happened so long ago, how can it apply today. There are so many things that go on in our lives that are hard. I love my son but sometimes it’s hard to constantly love him. At 2am I find it hard to give him the attention that he needs. After a night of sickness and sleep deprivation my hand can barely find the coffee let alone cuddle a sick baby. I love him constantly but not the way our Father in Heaven loves us. He loves patiently. There’s never a moment when He doesn’t want to help, has Facebook to check or things to write before He can sit down and play. And more than that, when we’re hurting He just wants to love us through.
Sure, He didn’t promise us that life would be easy but He promised us that He’d go through it with us. Life is full of hardships. Maybe your spouse just lost their job and you’re not sure where the next paycheck will come for to get groceries. Maybe you just lost a loved on and although they say time will heal you’re not sure how long it’ll take. Maybe this new Mummy thing is so hard that sometimes you want to scream.
I wanna let you know that God knows and He cares. In fact He cares so much that He sent His only Son to earth to die a horrible death for you. He cares without conditions and He cares constantly. At Christmas we learn that Jesus came to earth as a man and lived among us but the greatest story for me is the one at Easter. When they killed Him on a cross noone could have predicted the ending. The pundits would have been wrong and if you’d have asked weather forecasters, well they’d have failed miserably. The greastest story ever told is the one in the tomb. They laid Him there, guarded it with a stone but when they came back He was gone! He’d risen again, literally. The stone was moved.
Today, God still moves stones. He can change things in your life that seem impossible. He still cures the sick, holds the hurting and counsels the needy. He didn’t just do it back then, He is working today, all you have to do is ask. This Easter as I think about that event way back then I’m reminded that He Still Moves Stones.
* Here’s the story of the tomb, taken from the Message which is written in contemporary English. I like it because even if you’ve read the story a hundred times, you can still find something new. If you’re interested, Max Lucado wrote an excellent book entitled, “He Still Moves Stones.”
Matthew 27:52 – 28:7
62-64After sundown, the high priests and Pharisees arranged a meeting with Pilate. They said, “Sir, we just remembered that that liar announced while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will be raised.’ We’ve got to get that tomb sealed until the third day. There’s a good chance his disciples will come and steal the corpse and then go around saying, ‘He’s risen from the dead.’ Then we’ll be worse off than before, the final deceit surpassing the first.”
65-66Pilate told them, “You will have a guard. Go ahead and secure it the best you can.” So they went out and secured the tomb, sealing the stone and posting guards.
After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.
5-6The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
7″Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”