My sister's fiance is in the Middle East, my Dad has to work today and for the first time in my life I won't be in church on Easter Sunday because of the babies. Am I a little mopey and sad? Yep. There is no big Easter dinner with the family, no Easter egg hunt, no celebrating with song and fellowship at church for me today.
But you know what? Jesus still rose from the grave and that hasn't changed. This Easter, to me, looks different. But those are just traditions that we enjoy doing, it doesn't make or break Easter. Easter still happens, because Easter isn't about anything but remembering the day that changed it all for us.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
My friend Jenna put it perfectly:
I owed a debt I could never pay. Not in a million years. And in one moment of indescribable suffering and sacrifice, my debt was wiped out. Friday. Good Friday. I fear that 2000 years of noise has blurred the reality of what happened on that day.
But I am loved. And so are you. Whether you acknowledge it or not, whether you feel like you need forgiveness or not, whether you believe it or not, there is a God. And He loves you. There is hope. And that hope came in the light of a rising sun as a world woke up to an empty tomb. Sunday. Resurrection Sunday.
You see, the miracle of Easter is that God came to earth as a man named Jesus who sacrificed himself, died on a cross and then rose from the dead. They called him the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah. He paid the penalty for my sin, even when I didn't know there was a penalty to pay. He conquered death. And He lives today. It's not a myth, a legend or a silly story that weird religious people tell each other because they're too dimwitted to face the real world. He offers a clean slate. A new heart. Hope.
Life is sacred. We are here in these bodies for such a short time. And no matter how fiercely we love, no matter how hard we work, no matter how good we are, we will never find true meaning and purpose unless we know the One we were created for.
He gives us a choice. At some point every person has a choice.
And when you know Him you discover there are little pieces of Him, all over the world.
So, I rejoice today, in my puke covered sweats and unbrushed hair, because He is Risen and that hasn't changed!