I am writing this Easter message tucked away in my home office, away from the noise of a movie playing in our living room downstairs. It was not what I had planned for our family time together today, but that is okay. I forgot to buy pineapple rings for the ham, so pineapple chunks were the last-minute substitute. I had hoped for a sunny, warm day today, but awoke to clouds and chilly air. Spring is fickle and so I adapted my church wardrobe to match the April Fool’s weather. Guess what? It’s all okay by me.
When I came to know Jesus, I realized that the perfect Easter had nothing to do with sunny skies, chocolate bunnies, or ham dinners.
Picture the empty tomb as the first rays of light broke over the horizon. The women had come to anoint Jesus’ body, but the heavy stone was already rolled away. His burial linens were neatly folded, but otherwise there was no trace he had ever been there. For Mary Magdalene and for Jesus’ disciples, this was not their plan for Easter morning.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
It may have been hard for them to believe, but they soon realized it was true. In the days following, not only did they see Jesus, they talked with him, ate with him and prayed with him. He taught them and comforted them just as he always had, only now when he shared the promise of the Holy Spirit, they believed and understood. Death could not defeat him. He had overcome the grave!
Jesus could not remain on this earth; it was never his home. His work was finally finished — yet it had only begun. He still heals the sick, gives hope to the brokenhearted, and saves shattered lives every day.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
May the peace of Christ enter your heart and home this Easter Sunday, and fill you with the hope of life everlasting.