Monday, April 18, 2011

Resurrection Sunday

This coming Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. It's also called Easter, but I love to call it Resurrection Sunday. It's my most favorite Sunday of the entire year! It is a day of reflection as I recall the story of the brutal torture and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that He was on that cross dying for me. It is a day of gratefulness as I thank Him for willingly laying down His life and shedding His own precious blood to pay my sin debt. It is a day of rejoicing, as I worship the One Who has the power to raise Himself from the dead. My Savior is living!

I often wonder what it was like to be one of the women who went to the tomb that morning. Their day did not start out triumphant. (Now Jesus had actually already risen from the dead sometime before dawn, but of course, the women did not know this yet.) Their day started with sadness and sorrow, and possibly dread, as they faced their task of going to the tomb. They expected to see the torn, bruised body of the One they loved so much. I'm sure there were tears as their mind played over and over the horrific scenes of the crucifixion they had witnessed just days earlier. They did not understand, they could not comprehend why Jesus had to die in such a way. And what were they to do now? What would happen to them?

But I love the account given in the Bible. They found the heavy stone already rolled away from the tomb. The two angel messangers said unto the women, "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen...." Aren't those just some of the most beautiful words in all the Bible? The women's lives were changed forever, as they realized the Savior was alive again!

Yet how sad that we often fill the day up with things that have nothing to do with the Resurrection! I'm not going to list out all kinds of things that I think are not wise for a Christian to participate in. Often that just brings division and offense. But my point is, are the things you are planning to participate in on Resurrection Sunday honoring to the Lord, and do those things put Him FIRST on this special day? (Of course, we are to put the Lord first every day, in every area of our lives, but we're specifically talking about Easter here.) My personal belief is this - if your plans for Easter cause you to miss church, then would it not seem that Jesus is not being given first place? I know there would be those that say that is a little strict, that there is no such commandment in Scripture to go to church twice (morning and evening service) on Sunday, but would it not seem right to put Him first ALL day, and maybe put off some of our own plans until another day so that we would be able to be in church for both services?

I hope we will not be so caught up in "observing a holiday" that we miss the importance of this day. I do think there are many special things we can participate in on this day that do not detract from the Lord Jesus in any way. But I hope that in our activities and in our hearts we put the Lord Jesus Christ first in all that we say and do - on Resurrection Sunday, and all other days as well. For doesn't He deserve our best service, after all He has done for us?

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