Apr
16

Easter Changes Everything!

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Most of you can think of days that have changed your life forever. A graduation, your first car, that big promotion to suggest a few. Some days are related to family events such as a wedding or the birth of a child. We mark and recall those days because in their own way they changed the trajectory of life and helped us re-imagine life in a way we had never imagined before.

I think about the events recorded in the gospels about that first Easter. I appreciate the vulnerability and authenticity of how the characters are portrayed. As we follow them through the thickened plot we come to see how Easter truly does change everything.

Think about the thief on the cross beside Jesus. He was guilty of a crime and hung there as a result of his behavior. But in a moment of vulnerability he opened his heart to Jesus and asked to be remembered. Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” His guilt was transformed to forgiveness. Easter changes everything.

What about the women surrounding the story. While the men had gone into hiding on Good Friday, the women remained, dutifully attending to the needs of Jesus. On the first day of the week they were the first to arrive at the tomb hoping to finalize the burial preparations that remained undone due to the setting sun on Friday. When they encountered Christ their duty turned to devotion as they worshiped. Yes, Easter changes everything.

Mary Magdalene is one of the characters called out by name. There at the garden tomb, with eyes blurred by tears, she mistook Jesus for a gardener and asked where the body of Jesus had been taken. All it took was for Jesus to call her name, “Mary,” and her sorrow evaporated into joy. Easter changes everything.

The disciples had abandoned Jesus by and large during the his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. We later find them together in a room behind locked doors, bound by fear. When Jesus appeared to them his first word to them was, “Peace.” Their fear became peace in the presence of Jesus, because Easter changes everything.

Thomas was not in the room with those disciples, but when they reported their experience to him he doubted and demanded proof of his existence. When Jesus appeared to Thomas later he provided the proof Thomas claimed he needed to which he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Doubt turns to faith because Easter changes everything.

Finally there is Peter. Peter had strutted into passion week making bold claims about his willingness to die for Jesus, making bold assertions that he would never deny him. He impulsively cut the ear off of a soldier in the garden as a show of strength. Peter was strong, perhaps too strong, and often acted in self serving ways. But when Jesus restored him on the shore of the sea, his command was, “Feed my sheep.” Peter changed from a strong, self serving person to a servant. Easter changes everything.

Good Fridays are characterized by people who are bound by guilt, duty, sorrow, fear, doubt and self centeredness. That was true then and is true today. But Easter changes everything. Easter opens the door for us to change the trajectory of life and find forgiveness, devotion, joy, peace, faith and service. Only then can we re-imagine the life that God has intended for us all along.

Easter changes everything!

Categories : Easter

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