Even when we expect it, even when we know it is coming, Easter arrives all wrapped up in surprise. We are amazed at this great thing God has done. Life springs from the darkest place we can imagine.
Death is sent packing.
We are given again the gift of wonder, and we stand amazed in the presence of our risen Lord.
Open wide now your heart. Open your heart to the Light — the Lord of Life!next >
Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Acts 10:34-43next >
Why did Jesus come? Some people say it was so he could “die on a cross to save us from our sins.” But that makes me wonder: if all he came to do was die for us, what was the rest of his life about, all that teaching, preaching, and healing he did?
So I love the way Peter says that Jesus “went about doing good.” And when it comes to the crucifixion, Peter says plainly that “they” put him to death — Jesus’ enemies — but just as plainly says God raised him on the third day.
So God didn’t send the son just so he could die on a cross; God sent him to love the world. Some people are threatened by that kind of love. They want to put an end to it. But the resurrection is proof — God was just getting started.
Jim Somervillenext >
God let me, like Jesus, go about doing good. Let me love the world you love. And if people are threatened by that kind of love, give me the courage to go on loving, just as Jesus did, no matter the cost. Amen. Amen.next >
Christ is living, no more weeping, no more time for grief and pain!
Neither death nor tomb could hold Christ, who is living once again.
Do not look among the dead for one who lives most certainly;
Christ is living! Hear the good news that resounds so joyfully.
Jim Somerville is the pastor of First Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. He is married to the former Christy Treadwell and they have two daughters, Ellie and Catherine, both of whom grew up going to Passport. Jim enjoys backpacking and almost any other activity that gets him outdoors.
Crown Him with Many Crowns