4/3/2018 10:45:56 AM
P James Wilcox
Things Look Different after Easter
"But when [the women] looked up, they saw that the sone, which was very large, had been rolled away." Mark 16:4
They looked up and what did they see? The stone which covered the entrance to the tome of Jesus, had been removed! This wasn’t according to plan. “Had someone come in the night to steal the body? But why?” But they were wrong. They had come out to the tomb expecting the wrong thing. They had come to Easter with the wrong reasons. The tomb had been opened for them and for the rest of the world. The tomb had been opened so that people could look in and see that Jesus had done exactly what he said he would do. And these women, who were so devoted to Christ, should have known better. They should have remembered Jesus’ words, “Three days later the Son of Man will rise!” Friday. Saturday. Sunday. They should have expected that Jesus had finished the job. They should have looked up sooner.
We had better look up, too, or we’ll come to Easter with the wrong expectations. Perhaps some of us stand outside the tomb and within our hearts we nurse a grudge against someone. Have we come to Easter expecting to be forgiven only to withhold our forgiveness from others? Look up and see! Do you come with so much guilt expecting that Christ paid for other people’s sins, but not yours? Look up and see! Have some come to Easter because they feel that’s what they are supposed to do, but their hearts are far from God? Look up and see! The truth is you and I come to Easter with hearts of sin that fight against God and we expect the wrong things from Easter. We expect our things, not God’s things.
As the early morning mist cleared, the women looked up and they saw that things were different, their expectations were wrong and thank God they were! You, too, look up from your life and see that things are different.
That empty tomb reminds us of what God has been doing for us. It reminds us that on Good Friday the Lamb of God willingly took to the cross. He willingly became the sacrifice for sin on the altar of Golgotha. He willingly suffered God’s anger and hatred against mankind’s sin and he willingly died. The weight of our sins were carried with his lifeless body, and they were buried in the darkness of the earth. And the stone slammed that tomb shut and our sins never came back. They died with Christ. We died with Christ and we were buried with him. Easter hands us a different set of expectations that tells us God forgives sinners.
Look up and see it! Approach the tomb with confidence! The stone has been rolled away and things are different here. Look up and see. Come to Easter not loaded down with guilt, arrogance and unbelief. Come instead with a light and joyful faith that is anxious to see what it already believes: sin has been done away with. Look up and see: things are different.