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Apr. 22, 2019

AN EASTER YES!

 

“The angel answered, He (Jesus) is not here;

for He is risen, as He said.”

Matthew 28:6

  

 Easter is the most important religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. It celebrates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The resurrection of Jesus is foundational to New Testament faith. The name “Easter” is derived from the Greek name, “Pascha” which is itself derived  from “Pesach”, the Hebrew festival of Passover.

 Here is a summary of the Easter Story.  Mary Magdalene, along with other faithful woman came to the Garden tomb early Sunday morning to anoint the body of Jesus. They wondered how they would roll away the large and heavy stone disc that served as ad door to the tomb. Perhaps the soldiers guarding it would be kind enough to help. The freshly hewn family tomb was donated to the family of Jesus by  a friend . Inside would be a slab for the deceased body with benches around. The heavy tomb stone could be rolled away to allow for the bandages that wrapped the body to be anointed with oil to help defer the smell of decaying flesh. After the body decayed,  the remaining bones of the deceased would be gently gathered and placed in a smaller “bone” box carved out of stone for final placement along a family shelf.

 When the women arrived the tomb was opened and the soldiers were gone! They peered inside and found an angel sitting on the empty stone slab where the wrapped  body of Jesus had been laid three days earlier. The angel informs the women that Jesus was no longer there; for He had risen from the dead in the early dark hours of the new day.  The Jewish day ran from sunset (start of "the evening") to the next sunset. The rolled away stone door was not opened to let Jesus out of the tomb; but to let witnesses in, to see that indeed He was alive again of His own accord.

 They noticed the grave cloths of Christ, which the Bible says were folded where they lay. The word “folded” literally means “to be wrapped in same position, but empty”.  Tradition says that the grave clothes were narrow strips of linen wrapped (swaddled) around the body, like a mummy. The wrap started at feet, then went up body, with arms at the side, then tied off at neck. The head was also swaddled in linen strips and a linen cloth was placed over the face. What is so amazing is that the grave clothes of Jesus   were found wrapped in the original, but collapsed position with no body in it! After the Resurrection, Jesus showed Himself to many witnesses.

 Now, if Jesus was able to rise from the dead then, don’t you think that He is able to help you in whatever situation of life you find yourself in now? The presence of Christ always brings resurrection hope.

 So dear friend, rejoice!  Easter is upon us!  Christ is Risen!  Christ is Risen Indeed! 

 The good news is that “YES” because of Easter, you can know that there is nothing that you and God cannot get through together!  Jesus Christ has proven He is really who He says He is and because of that, we can know that He is more than able, to handle anything that comes our way.

 May the blessings of the Risen Savior be with you!

 As always, see you next time and have a great day...