A Note from the pastor

A Note from the pastor…

“He is not here, for He is risen, as He said.”…So they went out quickly form the tomb with fear and great joy. Matthew 28:6,8

While reflecting on Holy Week and the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection, we must not forget Saturday. The disciples and Jesus’ other followers must have been numb with exhaustion and hopelessness on that Saturday. It was the Sabbath, the day of rest, but I’m sure resting was the last thing on their mind.

Instead, they were haunted by the thoughts of Jesus’ suffering and were still in shock about what happened and how fast it all lead up to His death. (“She went and found the disciples, who were grieving and weeping.” Mark 16:10) We know what the disciples were thinking from the story about the men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27). They were filled with sadness. They were confused as they tried to understand why this happened. Their hopes had been crushed.

Meanwhile at the gravesite, Pilate had posted guards at the tomb should anyone come and try to steal Jesus’ body. The two Mary’s, devoted followers to the end who were NOT AFRAID to follow Jesus all the way to the cross, had stayed with Jesus’ body watching as Joseph and Nicodemus anointed His body for burial. Their hearts were broken and sadness filled their souls. For them too, Saturday was a day of confusion, sorrow, and hopelessness.

But praise be to God, that’s not how the story ends. Sunday morning came after that long Saturday, and with it came stunning news! The tomb was empty and the two Mary’s had seen Jesus with their own eyes. This was something no one expected even though Jesus predicted His own death three times. Their understanding of His teaching was not a literal death right before their eyes. If that had been the case, they would have understood that there was something more and something so powerful about to happen that they wouldn’t have been filled with sorrow and emptiness.

Mark tells us that the disciples were trembling with fear after seeing the empty tomb and the angel, again not comprehending what had happened. “The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.” (Mark 16:18)

The resurrection of Christ – His victory over sin, death, and hell – is the cornerstone of our faith. Without the Resurrection, Jesus was just another good man. But because of His resurrection, Paul tells us that we will not have to suffer the sting of death and separation from God. Jesus did that for us. He has died our death in order that we might live His life.

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, 

this Scripture will be fulfilled: ““Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (1 Corinthians 15:53-57)

Let’s rejoice with Paul! Christ is risen, He is risen indeed! Since Christ died our death, let’s be sure we are living His life, striving to be like Christ every day. The opportunity to live like Christ is something not to take lightly. It’s a gift. Something we should feel honored to do and therefore celebrate and be proud of!

As the season of Lent comes to an end, I hope that you have reflected on this gift of mercy and love and on your own heart. Where are you missing the mark? Are you connected to the Lord in a way that has transformed you? Are you walking in the ways of Jesus? I pray that your heart has been transformed or is in the process of being transformed (it is a continued process), and that every day you look to the One who can lead you to live as He lived, willing to sacrifice and give it all.

God is SO GOOD, so full of MERCY and LOVE. May you have a blessed and joyful Easter and continue the appreciation throughout the year!

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Trish