Well that was different. Do you remember the Grinch and how he thought he could keep Christmas from coming by taking all the trappings away? Well Easter Sunday had that feel to it, not sure who penned this but I wanted to share it. It came without dresses. It came without ties. It came without baskets, eggs, hams or pies. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Easter, he thought, doesn’t come from the store? What if Easter means a little bit more? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Easter does mean a little bit more, it means a lot more. And the current environment didn’t stop Easter from coming. We may have marked the resurrection of Christ in nontraditional ways but the fact remains the stone was rolled away, the tomb was empty and the Savior has risen. I hope you were able to participate in a celebration of His victory over death in some way.
I was encouraged as I saw the resilience of the people of God to find ways to celebrate together. Lynda and I were able to lead a livestream Sunrise Service for our lake community. Eastford Baptist Church took to an FM transmitter and a hay wagon. The Pastor stood on the makeshift platform with his pulpit as the members sat in their cars and listened over their radios.
The racing community did not disappoint; Dominion Raceway in Virginia decided to open their venue to all for a unique Easter Celebration. They parked the cars on pit road and the front stretch pointed at the big screen score board in the infield, drive in style. The banking made this a perfect solution. They used the broadcast frequency from the play by play booth and celebrated Resurrection Sunday!
Let’s revisit the events on that Sunday morning so many years ago;
Luke 24:1-9, NIV, On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ “Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
As we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of our Savior we start to understand the road Jesus walked was a difficult one. He endured death on a cross. He endured the mockery of a trial. He endured the ridicule. He endured the beating. He did not speak against those who put him through the trial and crucifixion. He accomplished what God the Father sent him to do.
Like many things in life, the celebration doesn’t come without working through some difficulties. Those are the celebrations that we remember most, the ones with the most difficult road. Billy Graham said, “Mountain tops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”
Jesus didn’t throw a big party, he didn’t have a victory parade; he simply did what he said he would do. He told those close to him what to expect. However, because he did something that no one had ever seen before it was difficult for them to understand. In fact, even his closest followers didn’t understand or believe him. Listen to their reaction when the women returned with the news:
Luke 24:11-12, NIV, But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
How many of us would have believed it? How many of us believe it today? The Son of God rose from the grave and conquered death? He has the power over the one thing we fear most in life, death. We can find a peace in that. We can find hope.
Who do we turn to when you need to overcome our fear? We turn to someone who has overcome it. We seek out someone who has experience in dealing with what we are faced with. We look for support, comfort, mercy, encouragement, and guidance. We want to be assured that we can get through the challenges we face.
Christ assured us that we could, if we trust in him. He endured the most difficult death we could imagine. He rose victorious from the grave. An empty tomb is our hope. Never has something so empty been so powerful. The empty tomb has the ability to change the direction of our lives.
In the emptiness we can find the courage to trust that Jesus is able to overcome whatever obstacles we face. We can find the strength to overcome even our fear of death. I encourage you today to look into the tomb, see the folded linen; realize that our Savior lives and that we can live also.
I close with the words from an old hymn that always lifts me up; Because He Lives
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
You too can face the challenges ahead because the tomb is empty; HE LIVES!
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.