Pause

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!

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Listen

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

John 20:1-10

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Think

I love this scene from the Easter story. There’s old Peter, huffing and puffing to get to the empty tomb, but the other disciple (John? The teenager?) outruns him and gets there first. He bends down and has a look into the tomb but doesn’t go in.

Peter, on the other hand, barges right in as always. He sees the linen wrappings, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, but he doesn’t know what to make of it.

The other disciple (on the other hand) sees the same things but in a different way. Instead of thinking that Jesus’ body has been stolen he believes that Jesus has risen from the dead. This is one of the things that makes him “the disciple Jesus loved”: Peter leaps before he looks and so does this other disciple. But the leap he takes is almost always a leap of faith.

Jim Somerville

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Pray

Lord, help me look at the evidence through the eyes of faith. I can think that the world came into existence by accident, or I can believe you had a hand in it. I can think that dead people don’t come back to life, or I can believe that, one time, one did. Make me a true believer, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

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Go

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.

Nicolas Martinez

Jim Somerville

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

Rodrigo Rodriquez

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