April 8, 2012 in Uncategorized By: Dave Emerson
(4/8/2012, Los Alamitos) [Note: This morning's post takes the Christian perspective on Easter, but we wish a happy holiday to all our readers, regardless of religious or non-religious beliefs] Last year, Easter dawned wet and gloomy, this year Easter looks like it will be more springlike here in Los Alamitos, a step back from the early summer we enjoyed yesterday.
For those of us who seek to follow Jesus, however, the real joy at Easter doesn’t depend on outer circumstances but on God’s victory over death and evil, both at the cross and empty tomb 2,000 years ago, and in our lives and communities as we seek His resurrection power to triumph over evil in our daily lives.
To our readers who share the “blessed hope” of a loving Savior who has conquered death, may your Easter Sunday, and every day, be filled with the love, joy and peace of our risen Savior.
To those still not exactly sure what it all means, I encourage you to read through the eyewitness account of the youngest of Jesus 12 disciples, John, from The Message translation/paraphrase of John 20:
Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved [how John described himself, as he explains in the following chapter], breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.”
Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”
“They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”
Jesus said, “Mary.”
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”
Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.
Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews [actually, the Jewish religious authorities who had plotted the crucifixion--the disciples and Jesus were all Jewish themselves], had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.
The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”
Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”
But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.”
But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”
Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”
Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”
Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”
Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
To find out more about the one whose resurrection millions celebrate today, check out the four earliest accounts of Jesus life, found in the first four “books” of the New Testament. Mark’s account is the briefest.
To all our readers, may this day and your week be filled with joy and blessings.