Easter Sunday, April 24
Today’s Reading: Luke 24:1–10
Awesome God, through Your son, Jesus, You overcame death and opened the door of everlasting life for me. As I celebrate this day of The Lord’s Resurrection, give my life fresh meaning, give me hope, give me joy, and give me purpose! It’s by Your Resurrection power that I live today and forevermore. Amen.
When I was a high school student, our youth group traveled a full day from my hometown in south Arkansas to Eureka Springs to attend “The Great Passion Play,” an inspiring hillside drama that depicts the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. As I watched the local “bathrobe” actors dramatically “tell the story,” I quickly became intrigued by a gentleman sitting in the row just behind me with his church group. He was on the edge of his seat and expressed verbal excitement during the entire program! During the finale and dramatic Resurrection scene (complete with smoke, earthquake sounds and a rolling rock), I wondered if there might well be a personal resurrection on the row just behind me as this elderly pastor began to shout loudly at the top of his lungs! He stood up and unashamedly began to shout (as if his promptings were really encouraging the actor playing Jesus out of the tomb), “Step out dat grave! Step out dat grave, Jesus! I knows Youz can do it…. Come on, Jesus! Step on out o’ dat grave!” Although just distracting entertainment for many seated around me, I was, instead, deeply moved by the personal passion and reckless abandonment this man had regarding the powerful depiction of this scene … the Resurrection. I will never forget it. There was no doubt, this man understood the deep personal significance of this final dramatic scene being portrayed and it was obvious to me that his personal faith was dependent on whether or not Jesus would make it out “dat” tomb.
I wonder if we truly understand the complete dependence we have on what took place that first Easter morning in a borrowed tomb just on the outside of the city of Jerusalem? Think about it like this:
Without the Resurrection of Jesus …
- The Gospel would be MEANINGLESS. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
- Forgiveness of sin would be HOPELESS. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).
- Our present life would be JOYLESS. “Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hope in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:18–19).
- Living for Christ would be FRUITLESS. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).
- Our future would be WORTHLESS. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1–2).
What brought that precious pastor up and out of his seat in that hillside amphitheater in Arkansas more than 35 years ago should still make us shout HALLELUJAH to the top of our lungs on this blessed Resurrection Day and each and every day hereafter! Bottom line: If there is no Resurrection, there is no Gospel; if there is no Gospel, there is no forgiveness of sin; if there is no forgiveness of sin, there is no present joy; if there is no present joy, there is no future hope.
Easter Worship Services
Sunday, April 24
8:00 a.m.*, 9:30 & 11:00 a.m.
En Español: 1:30 p.m.*
*Central Campus only