Next week we celebrate Easter, the most blessed event in the life of any Christian. This is the day that our Savior, Jesus Christ, conquered death. On this day, we remember that Jesus not only died to save us from our sins but also rose from the dead, victorious!
So who was this Easter for? Easter was and still is for you and me. Easter was for every man and woman to show us that our Christ reigns. He died but he didn’t stay dead. The stone was rolled away from the tomb and Christ once again walks with those He loves.
I was listening to a sermon on the radio some time ago. It was a sermon by Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship church. He made some interesting comments that I thought were worth sharing on this night before our Easter celebration.
He said that Easter was for Christians who had lost loved ones. Easter is for those who have felt the sting of death. In I Corinthians 15:55 we read, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” When we lose someone we love we weep. When we lose someone we love we are dashed and the sting of death may seem unbearable, but because of Christ resurrection, because of what we celebrate on Easter, death has no real sting for we are now assured that just as Christ raised from the dead and was given a new resurrection body, so too shall the loved one that passed before us be raised and given a new resurrection body.
When we grieve for a Christian loved one, we can know that they are now living with Christ and we can be assured that one day we will see them again, because of the resurrection of Christ on that Easter morning more than 2000 years ago.
Easter is also about second chances, second chances for each of us who has fallen short in our walk. Peter, Christ’s beloved disciple, had fallen short. Three times he had denied knowing the Lord he had served from more than three years. Peter must have been so ashamed when he heard that rooster crowing. In Luke 22:61 we read, “The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”
With that look and the sound of that rooster’s crow Peter realized his weakness. He realized that he had let down his Master. I can only imagine the amount of shame and grief that he must have felt. We
too often have shame and grief when we do the things that we know disappoint our Lord, but Jesus gives us second chances.When Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus and Salome went to the tomb early on the Sabbath, they found the stone had been removed from the tomb entrance. I am sure they were bewildered. Jesus then told them, “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. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’?”
Notice that Jesus told them specifically to tell Peter that Jesus had risen! Jesus must have known how horrible Peter was feeling and he wanted him specifically to know that He was alive! Jesus wanted to give Peter a second chance.
Jesus wants to give each of us a second, third, and fourth chance as well. He knows that we are weak and He knows that we will fall. But because Jesus walked this earth as a human He understands the weaknesses of man. If you have fallen away from God, if you have done something that you know has disappointed Him, Easter is for YOU! Easter is a time of celebration and a time of returning to God.
Our Lord is alive! He is not a dead, uninvolved God. He is a God of mercy, compassion, and second chances. So as you celebrate Easter next week, remember the sacrifice of Christ. Remember His suffering and that this suffering was for each of us. But then also remember the celebration, the celebration of His resurrection. His resurrection is our second chance and our assurance of life eternal with Him. REJOICE!!