Saturday, April 20, 2019
Preparing Our Hearts For Easter: The Cross, His Resurrection, and Our Victory
When I survey the wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest Gain I count but Loss,
And pour Contempt on all my Pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the Death of Christ my God:
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his Blood.
See from his Head, his Hands, his Feet,
Sorrow and Love flow mingled down!
Did ever such Love and Sorrow meet?
Or Thorns compose so rich a Crown?
Were the whole Realm of Nature mine,
That were a Present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my Soul, my Life, my All.
(by Isaac Watts)
How can resurrection morning be defined with any human expression? How can the joy of the resurrection be contained?
Two women who loved their Lord so much, made their way to the tomb with the worst feeling they had ever experienced: their hope, their joy, and their Savior had been violently taken from them. The stone over the opening of the burial tomb of Jesus had been rolled away; the angel of the Lord sat upon the stone.
I love this imagery. The angel sat on the very stone that had been sealed hours earlier by the Roman government to ensure the finality of the life and influence of Jesus. Indifferent to the eternal hope Jesus offers, those blinded by their own distrust, selfishness, and pride, assumed everything was over. Oh, but it was just the beginning. The Angel of the Lord “sat” on the stone. The announcement was clear: the grave, death, and hell itself had been defeated. The war between darkness and light was over and Jesus secured the victory.
I realize that for many the war seems far from over; daily battles seem to rage, and evil occupies the headlines of humanity every single day. But, take courage, for the war is indeed over. Place your faith afresh and anew in the victory of resurrection morning.
Tomorrow you will awaken to celebrate Easter. Don’t allow this sacred morning to pass by with a whim of Sunday routine. He has risen. Prepare to celebrate the greatest news ever. He has risen! He has risen indeed.