This was a momentous day in the life of Windsor Baptist Church. It was the first Sunday we were able to meet together again (albeit with masks and social distancing), the first Sunday services held in our new home, The Majestic, and it was Easter Sunday. The joy was palpable!
We continued our series in Luke’s gospel, fast forwarding to the resurrection story in Luke 24:1-12.
An Idle Tale?
What is our reaction to all this talk of resurrection, of Jesus rising from the dead? Is it just utter nonsense, a silly and idle tale? Do we need to get a grip of ourselves?
This is what many people today think about Easter Sunday. The idea that Jesus Christ, who was brutally murdered, confirmed dead and buried in a sealed grave, came back to life on the third day, that He rose again and is still alive is a foolish yarn. The resurrection of Jesus Christ doesn’t impact their lives in any shape or form.
However, it is worth noting that whenever the disciples were told about the empty tomb and were reminded about what Jesus had said about rising again on the third day, they responded by saying, ‘leiros’, a Greek word meaning nonsense (or something stronger).
As it turns out there were a lot of different reactions on the first Easter Sunday: confusion, fear, lightbulb moments, scepticism, disbelief, curiosity… On this Easter Sunday morning in 2021 all of those responses probably still exist, whether we are Christians or not.
On that first Easter morning the contrast between the women who went to the tomb and the disciples is striking. The women were confronted with this amazing news and accepted it and shared it. The disciples didn’t just dismiss it, they simply didn’t believe it.
What about us?
We have heard. We are hearing, once again, the story of resurrection. Like the women and the disciples, we are told that Jesus has risen. What we get is no different from what they got – a word, a message, a testimony, good news.
Some might say this is nonsense, an idle tale, but Christian faith dares to believe that Jesus is alive, that life conquers death and, as a result of believing, nothing is ever the same again.
Death is real, but it is not final. In Jesus, the risen One, life and not death has the last word. Hope burns bright. Eternal life is not only a gift for those who believe; it is, and will be, a lived reality. We will live forever.
The two angels who appeared to the women who went to the tomb announced the life and death altering news of Easter Sunday that changed and changes everything
That is the Easter headline. That is the good news. That is the message we either accept or dismiss.
Remember afresh, or for the first time, the words of Jesus; believe in Him and what He said. He is the resurrection and the life, and those who believe in Him will live, even though they die. That is the challenge of Easter; that is the good news of Easter. Jesus has risen because He said He would.
In a year when death has been all too real, surely this is good news beyond our wildest dreams.
Choices for this Easter:
- Have an appointment with an empty tomb;
- Look in;
- Hear the angel’s announcement: “He is not here, but has risen”;
- Remember the words of Jesus;
- Believe them and walk away, marvelling at what has happened;
- OR Choose to forget all this, write it off as an idle tale and remain an unbeliever.