When our children were young we celebrated Easter and enjoyed the fun traditions of egg hunting, baskets and all the goodies while building a foundation of what Easter is really a celebration about — the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Today (Easter) is the pinnacle of Christianity. If Jesus didn’t rise, Easter has no meaning and Christianity is a nice thought but without power. If Jesus only came to this earth to live an exemplary life and be a nice man who did some incredible things before he was brutally crucified for saying he was someone he wasn’t (God) then Good Friday wasn’t and Easter was a concoction of the card and candy companies.
But, as I investigated the events of Easter, the preponderance of evidence for a risen Jesus was too much for me to deny. His disciples and more than 500 others saw Jesus after he died. And seeing their subsequent transformation from bumbling, weak-minded men into a church that has stood the test of time and transformed the world, lead me to no other conclusion — Jesus was indeed God. He was the One who came to save us from the penalty of eternal separation from God. Our sin separated us from God. Jesus death on the cross paid for that. His resurrection defeated death and exchanged our sin for His righteousness. That’s the great exchange. My sin for Jesus’ righteousness. If Jesus didn’t walk away from that tomb, that exchange never takes place. And, I’m faced with one day standing before Almighty God with what I bring alone…my sin and whatever few good things I may have accomplished in this world. Unfortunately, for a perfect God that won’t be good enough. But, because of Easter, because Jesus walked away from the tomb, I will stand before God, not alone, but with Jesus as my advocate. That’s what He did for us. Because He walked away from His Glory, His Throne and the tomb, we have hope eternal. That is the hope of Easter.
I don’t know where you sit today as you celebrate Easter in your own way. This is the first year that we won’t have any of our children around to give them their Easter baskets. My wife is so good to remember small, fun gifts to share with the kids and me. We used to hide those baskets in increasingly difficult to find places as the kids grew older. When I would hide those baskets, I would pray and thank God that He was no longer hidden. Just like my kids finding those baskets every year (sometimes with some help) Jesus came down from Heaven so that we would be able to find our way to God. Don’t let the marvel of Easter end in chocolate. The wonder of Easter is that Jesus Christ walked away from the tomb. And, because He walked away, we now can walk with Him. Happy Easter. May the marvel of this day change you and give you the hope that your soul seeks.
One of our church worship leaders, Drew Cline, wrote and recorded this song and sang it last night at our Saturday evening Easter service, He Walked Away. I know you will enjoy it. Listen…smile…rejoice because HE WALKED AWAY.