When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.]
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
- Mark 16:1-11
“Tears represent the heart, the spirit, and the soul of a person. To put a lock and key on your emotions is to bury part of your Christlikeness!
“You can’t go to the Cross with just your head and not your heart. It doesn’t work that way. Calvary is not a mental trip. It’s not an intellectual exercise. It’s not a divine calculation or a cold theological principle.
“It’s a heart-splitting hour of emotion.
“Don’t walk away from it dry-eyed and unstirred. Don’t just straighten your tie and clear your throat. Don’t allow yourself to descend Calvary cool and collected.
“Please … pause. Look again.
“Those are nails in those hands. That’s God on that cross. It’s us who put him there.”
- Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior
Max Lucado’s description of Christ on the Cross fits Good Friday. Easter is for a risen Savior, but his point here is in Mark 16:10-11. The disciples were mourning, weeping, and not believing.
The bottom line in Lucado’s message is that we put Jesus on that cross with our sin.
In our sinful state, we are indeed in need of salvation.
And Jesus paid the price, but He did more than that. He rose from the dead and claimed victory over death. Really, they aren’t two separate things. It’s a package deal. We are saved from the penalty of sin and saved to adoption by God to be brothers with Christ.
When you add that thought to what Max Lucado said about how those are real nails in His hands, and that really is God on the cross, it gives us even more reason to go away from an Easter service with our eyes well lubricated.
Of course, this year that service may be remote, from home, but worshipping is important, much more important than attendance. Sorry, CEOs (Christmas-Easter Only folks).
As for the Easter dresses, give them to a good charity, since the female children in your family will be a different size next year. As for the Easter Egg Hunts, eat the boiled eggs, send the chocolate eggs to my house, and save the plastic ones for next year. If the plastic eggs are filled with jellybeans, give them to the kids, but if the plastic eggs have money, I will send you my address, depending on how much money. Mailing pennies is not cost effective. As for the virtual church fellowship by sending each other videos to say “Hello” or “He is Risen Indeed”, save your time. We’ll see each other when this is over. If it’s just fellowship, you are losing the idea of what Easter is all about.
But I like what our son’s church sent his family. It was a Holy Week survival kit. There was a group of things for every day from Palm Sunday to Easter. Each group for each day had, as a minimum, a Bible study guide, a short Scripture, a prayer, and a hand-made item (like a wooden palm leaf or a wash rag for washing feet) so that the kids could focus on it, and hold it during the reading of the Scripture, the family discussion, and the prayer. Now that’s family worship, activating the tactile senses of holding, reading, speaking, and hearing – totally involved in focused worship. And if they get that worship shifted from the head to the heart, they might get a tear or two. As Max Lucado said, we shouldn’t go away dry-eyed.
Happy Easter. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.