Coolidge Examiner > Religion
Looking from a Distance, as We Consider Jesus Christ this WeekBy Pastor William Perry
Community Christian Church/Chaplain of Ho Ho Kam RV Resort
Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 4:13 AM MST
This Easter Sunday morning across the country and around the world, more people will be in church than any other day of the year. In fact, for some it will be their one and only time they’ve attended church all year.
I’ve often asked the question: Why is it that people seem to fill churches on Easter?
In answering my own question, I believe it’s because they are looking for some good news. Because we all need to hear there is something good, we all need to believe there is something to look forward to. We can be sure that the Story of Easter is GOOD NEWS! But the truth is, to some it’s truly TERRIFYING NEWS!
The Gospel writer, Mark, records that the women who made their way to the tomb of Jesus, early on that first Easter Sunday morning were afraid. According to Mark, these women were: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. It was very early on this Sunday morning as they made their way to the tomb, and their purpose for coming was to anoint the dead body of Jesus. Mark tells us that just two days earlier they had watched the crucifixion. The Bible tells us that they watched “from a distance.” And when it was over, they were eye witnesses to Joseph of Arimatha taking the Lord’s body down off the cross, wrapping it in some cloth, taking it to its burial place, laying it in this tomb. They witnessed the stone being rolled over the doorway of the tomb. The watched all of this “from a distance.”
It seems to me that for many today, that is truly their favorite perspective on death, and burial, and for many, even the resurrection of Jesus, and in fact, on Christianity itself, it’s at a distance!
We like to view death, as did these women, from a distance. By viewing death from a distance, we hope to be able to ignore our own mortality. But occasionally, it catches up to someone we love, and it is then that we learn, like these three women did, that you have no choice but to see death in all of its ugliness, up close. We must be prepared to see death up close, at any time. This life is so fleeting.
In the book of James Chapter 4, verse 14, James writes, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” As alarming as this message is, I would like for you to consider the words recorded by Mark, in Chapter 16, and verses 6-8, “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. Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.”
Now, this, I believe is an element of Easter that is so often missing from our Easter Celebration.
There are far too many who think of Easter as bunnies and little chicks, colorful eggs, and little girls in cute new dresses. But maybe, just maybe, we should give a little more thought to some grown women, with their dresses hiked up to their knees, running with terror, as fast as they could out of that cemetery.
Easter is not about renewal, new beginnings; it’s not about the perseverance of the human spirit, or the first crocuses of spring. Not at all! It is about, what the angel asked the women that first Easter morning, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” It’s about the hope of Heaven!
It was on this day that Jesus Christ defeated Satan and Death, He did this so we might rise with him into new life.
The Easter story gets finished every time someone comes to the realization of their need for a savior, for rebirth, for a new life, that is what Easter is about.
Copyright © 2011 - Tri Valley Central
A Trip to PinetopOn Thursday we made a trip to visit our home in the mountains. It was not an eventful trip, but the scenery driving through Salt River Canyon is always breathtaking.
We took this opportunity to take a look at the lake that we enjoyed walking around last summer. We saw some signs that caused us to become aware of dangers. In the Bible we’re given signs upon signs, but as we did that day most people just ignore them.
It is beautiful around the lake. The leaves are starting to come out on the trees and I believe I heard someone say, “we are looking forward to spring!” …and so are we.
To hear this week's message click here.
Continue to pray for us as we seek to serve the Lord here in the desert.
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