Baskets or Empty Tombs
By Martha Noebel
I was living up North several years ago when I first heard the phrase,
"He Is Risen; He Is Risen Indeed!" The pastor loved to say the first part, He
Is Risen, and wait with a big smile on his face for the congregation to finish
the statement. (He Is Risen Indeed.) This was a favorite ritual every Easter Sunday
Why did the pastor like saying it? I guess He
knew it would fit with the sermon that day. He was sort of priming the pump, so
to speak, for what was to come. Then a wonderfully, well organized, properly prepared
sermon on the death and resurrection of Christ would soon follow. Previous to
this were three or four songs from the hymnal such as He Lives, He Arose, At Calvary,
and At The Cross. It was the only Sunday we would sing these songs, so sing we
did. We sang loudly and with a lot of heart.
I remember as a child that
everyone wore fancy clothes on that day. It was the only Sunday that all the kids
had new white shoes and pretty hats. Some of the girls even wore white gloves.
Several of the moms and dads had a flower on their suits or dresses. An excitement
was in the atmosphere. We knew an Easter egg hunt for all the children would begin
after the service. There would be lots of beautifully colored hard boiled eggs,
jelly beans inside plastic eggs, hard candy coated marshmallow eggs, and a very
special large chocolate covered candy egg. At home I had a wonderful Easter basket
filled with lots of candy and gum waiting for me too.
It marked the coming
of spring. Pastel colors were everywhere. Flowers were blooming and the air was
much warmer than a few weeks ago. It was such a happy time.
Now, I am older
and I know Easter Sunday in a much different way. I now realize Easter is about
death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus the Son of God was born so that one day
He would die. He chose to become the sacrifice for your sins and mine.
"For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV).
"For all have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." (Romans 3:23 NIV).
the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus
our Lord" (Romans 6:23 NIV).
"If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"
(I John 1:9 NIV).
It's so wonderful. By
faith we simply believe in the great price that was paid for us. We sinned, Jesus
died on a cross to pay for our sins, and on the third day rose from the grave.
He is seated at the right hand of God making intercession for us.
a very high price. He gave His life. He suffered so that we can live forever with
God. If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are saved. There is no condemnation
for the things we have done. And with each mistake we now make, forgiveness is
still ours to receive.
The tomb where Jesus was buried and from where He
rose was left empty. Only the grave clothes were left behind. Because of His great
love for us, and the power of God living in us, we too will one day be caught
up with Him in the air.
"After that, we
who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thessalonians
Jesus is coming again for those of
us who have asked Him to forgive us our sins. We are waiting for that day when
the heavens will open and we will meet Him in the skies.
So you see, Easter
isn't at all about Easter baskets full of candy, pretty clothes, or spring flowers.
It's about an empty tomb. He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!
Browse through CBN.com's Easter Resources
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