Meditate on This!

I will be the first to admit that last Sunday was a bit odd as a preacher–to have Easter fall on April fools day. Turns out, the last time they occurred on the same day was in 1956. Yet the more I thought of it, the more I began to think that these two disparate days fit more closely together than I originally imagined.

Almost from day one, a fog of mischief has hung over the empty tomb. It has long been an accusation hurled by the opponents of Jesus that the resurrection is a hoax, an elaborate trick pulled off by Jesus’ followers. The tomb is empty. No one denies that in the first couple of centuries. They could have simply produced the body (and later the bones) to refute the claim of Christians if the tomb was still occupied. That wasn’t possible. Something happened.

We have a choice to make. It’s the choice people always have to make who hear the Easter story. Is the news of Christ’s resurrection the truth or a trick? Easter is a dividing line in a way that Christmas is not. Who doesn’t love a little baby being born? What’s more, while the crucifixion is powerful, it alone is not unique. Rome crucified thousands, and many of them, like Jesus, were guilty of nothing more than being seen as a threat to the empire. Besides, most everyone is moved by a good martyr story, of someone willing to die for a noble cause.

But resurrection changes everything we know and believe because it challenges everything we know and believe. People are born and die everyday. But resurrection…that’s never happened before Jesus and it’s never happened since. Is the news of his resurrection the truth or a trick? The whole course of history and eternity turn on that question. If you believe it is truth, it changes everything. So to all of you who believe it, let me ask: Is it changing everything for you?

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