Posted: 30 Mar 2013 09:15 AM PDT
Posted: 29 Mar 2013 10:11 PM PDT
So, the long vacation is almost over. It's back to work.
Where did you spend your long weekend?
I spent mine in the house preparing lessons and materials and catching up with the biggest deprivation I struggle with – sleep. And it was a wonderful experience. Time for self-reflection, time for study and time for an un-pressured, unhurried session of exercise and training in a local gym.
But let me ask you a question. What does Resurrection Sunday really mean to you? Taken from the book entitled "Illustrations Unlimited: comes this fascinating story.
Do you know that every year thousands of people climb a mountain in the Italian Alps, passing the “stations of the cross” to stand at an outdoor crucifix? One tourist noticed a little trail that led beyond the cross. He fought through the rough thicket and, to his surprise, came upon another shrine, a shrine that symbolized the empty tomb. It was neglected. The brush had grown up around it. Almost everyone had gone as far as they cross, but there they stopped. Far too many have gotten to the cross and have known the despair and the heartbreak. Far too few have moved beyond the cross to find the real message of Easter. That is the message of the empty tomb.
And then there are those who refuse to believe. In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, is a grave on which were placed huge slabs of granite and marble cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. It belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Yet strangely, she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, it could not reach her. On the marker were inscribed these words: “This burial place must never be opened.” In time, a seed, covered over by the stones, began to grow. Slowly it pushed its way through the soil and out from beneath them. As the trunk enlarged, the great slabs were gradually shifted so that the steel clasps were wrenched from their sockets. A tiny seed had become a tree that had pushed aside the stones.
The dynamic life force contained in that little seed is a faint reflection of the tremendous power of God’s creative word that someday will call to life the bodies of all who are in their graves. He will also bring back every person drowned at sea, cremated, or destroyed in some other way. This is no problem to the One who made something out of nothing when He spoke the universe into existence. Unbelief cannot deter the resurrection. But faith in the risen Christ opens the door to blessings that His resurrection guarantees — a glorious new spiritual body and a home in heaven. In new bodies we will be reunited with saved loved ones to live with Jesus throughout all eternity.
The simplest meaning of Easter is that we are living in a world in which God has the last word. On Friday night it appeared as if evil was the master of life.
The holiest and most lovable One who had ever lived was dead and in His tomb, crucified by the order of a tyrant without either scruples or regrets. He who had raised the highest hopes among men had died by the most shameful means. A cross, two nails, a jeering mob of debauched souls, and a quick thrust of a spear had ended it all. Those hours when His voice was stilled and His hands were quiet were the blackest through which the race has ever lived. If Caesar could put an end to Jesus, then no man could ever dare aspire or hope again. Hope, in such a world, could be nothing better than a mockery. Then came Easter morning and the glorious word: “He is risen!” And evil’s triumph was at an end. Since that hour when Mary in the garden first discovered the staggering fact of victory, no man whose heart was pure and whose labors were honest has ever had reason to fear or despair if he believed in the Resurrection.
As a young man, D.L. Moody was called upon suddenly to preach a funeral sermon. He hunted all throughout the four Gospels trying to find one of Christ’s funeral sermons, but searched in vain. He found that Christ broke up every funeral he ever attended. Death could not exist where he was. When the dead heard his voice they sprang to life. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life.”
No it's not about bunnies and eggs, it's all about the true life we are all searching for. So, as you go back to work tomorrow on Monday and …bear this in mind.
 Lavon Brown –James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 164.
 Paul Hovey –James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 166.
Posted: 29 Mar 2013 04:55 PM PDT
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