Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Easter~Pastoral Thoughts on the Resurrection

I have had the joy of reconnecting with old friends on facebook, recently finding my former youth director of my teen years. He has gone on to pastor several churches over the years (over thirty now), parented along with his sweet wife a great family and is currently pastoring a church in Idaho. He wrote this inspirational piece as part of Easter and with the situation of having a wee young grandson who is very very ill. I asked his permission which he graciously granted for me to share his piece with you. May you be blessed by his thoughts as we consider the miracle of that morning two thousand years ago...the morning unlike any other that has changed the destiny of mankind of one facing defeat and loss to one of victory and hope!

Resurrection Morning
by Rev. Dean Herring

“And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6

Resurrection morning did not begin as a day of victory and celebration, at least not in the lives of the people who should have known better. That day began as a day of gloom – nothing more than a depressing sequel to what had been a very bad and eventful week. These Galileans did not enjoy their visit to the big city, and it is no wonder that they would soon return to the comfort zone of their rural upbringing. They longed to feel the gentle sea breeze of Galilee on their face again. Jerusalem had been a hard place for them. Their dreams, their hopes, and their plans had all come crashing down on a skull shaped hill called Golgotha.

Jesus had warned them of what was to come, but they heard only what they wanted to hear. With the exception of the “sinner” woman who anointed his feet with burial spices and tears, no one seemed to grasp what He was saying. They were weary of Roman rule, and they desired a kingdom. They wanted it now. They had already discussed what positions they would hold in this new kingdom, and at this point had no idea what Jesus was talking about when He told them that the servant would be the greatest position attainable. They expected a coup d’├ętat, but what they got was something very different.

There was no crown – except the crude one fashioned with thorns, no throne – except a rugged tree, no coronation – except the mocking of the Roman soldiers, and no palace – except a borrowed garden tomb. The only military action was advanced by Peter in the garden, and the Lord Himself had over-ruled that. Was He actually going to submit? Was He capitulating to the enemy? Whatever boldness they may have mustered soon gave way to fear, and they all ran. This was clearly not the scenario that they had anticipated when they followed Jesus.

For three confused days they lived in numbed disbelief. Then on the first day of the week those faithful women made their early morning journey to where the body of their Savior had been placed. Their gait was that of women with a heavy heart. The spices they brought with them were intended for the dead, and that is exactly what they expected to find in that garden tomb. Their speech was the conversation of people who were focused on temporal obstacles. They fretted “Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?”

What they had waiting on them was an empty tomb and the glorious announcement that “He is risen; He is not here”. On their way back from the garden they were met by Christ Himself, and they worshipped their Risen Savior! Had they listened to His words, none of this would have been an unexpected surprise.

So many times we find ourselves overwhelmed by events beyond our control. Like the disciples, we often run from the Lord when things don’t go as we planned. In extreme moments, as with Peter, we may blend with the world and act as though we don’t even know Him. Once we turn a deaf ear to what He is saying to us in His Word, the obstacles become the objects of our focus. Remember this: If God can empty the tomb, moving the stone is no problem to Him. We serve a God “that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think”. Ephesians 3:20

Happy Easter Everyone!

Expecting a miracle this Easter season,
Lady Graceful

Phil 1:6

Please remember this pastor's grandson in your prayers, and if you want more info you can join the facebook group: Praying for Josiah Herring. There are pictures and updates so we can pray and keep updated on this tiny boy and his family's needs. Thank you.

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