Our imagination is a wonderful thing. Out of it we get a fairy that pays money for Teeth, a fat Man that delivers gifts and soon we will have a rabbit that lays Eggs.
But it’s all an empty celebration. You don’t need a bunny or some eggs to excite you about Easter. It stands on its own. Our empty celebration is found in the empty tomb. Without the empty tomb, there is no Savior, no salvation and no Hope.
The empty tomb reveals the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As an end result then is the promise to every one of us that we too will be raised to eternal life. To those who know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, death has lost its sting. It is no longer something to be feared.
Matthew 28:5–7 (ESV)
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”
Romans 8:11 (ESV)
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
On Sept 16, 1620 2 ships set sail from Plymouth England, The Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell encountered much difficulty as they began their journey springing many leaks in the ship. So when the 2 ships went to Port in Plymouth England, the Speedwell decided to go no further and 42 passengers from the Speedwell joined the 60 passengers and 30 crew members aboard the Mayflower.
Of the 102 passengers on board the Mayflower the majority were devout Christians. They were coming to America to shake loose from the bonds of the Church of England so they could worship God as they believed scriptures taught. And with great excitement and expectations that set sail for a new land. It wasn’t long before the trip became difficult for several reasons, as noted by William Bradford an historian on the Mayflower, who would later became Governor of the colony for 33 years.
Many of the passengers became sea sick as huge waves would crash over the deck of the ship. The nights were cold, damp and dark. Remember there was no indoor plumbing or electricity.
And to make matters worse one of the crew, a very large man would constantly curse and abuse those who were sick, saying he was going to throw them overboard and steal all of their possessions. Bradford records, “BUT IT PLEASED GOD BEFORE THEY CAME HALF SEAS OVER, TO SMITE THE YOUNG MAN WITH A GRIEVOUS DISEASE OF WHICH HE DIED IN A DESPERATE MANNER. AND SO HE HIMSELF WAS THE FIRST THROWN OVERBOARD. THUS HIS CURSES LIGHT ON HIS OWN HEAD, AND IT WAS AN ASTONISHMENT TO ALL HIS FELLOWS FOR THEY NOTED IT TO BE THE JUST HAND OF GOD UPON HIM.” But their problems were far from over yet, they encountered many fierce storms which shook the ship with tremendous force. So fierce that many times they could not even keep the sail out and the force of the wind eventually cracked and bowed the main beams when they had just went over the half way point across the Atlantic.
And although the passengers and crew wanted to turn back, Christopher Jones, the ships Master, assured all the vessel was “strong and firm under water.” He ordered the beam to be secured. It was hoisted into place by a great iron screw that, fortunately, the Pilgrims brought out of Holland. And upon raising the beam, they “committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed.”
These 100 people; cold, wet — on a wooden ship in the middle of the ocean — put their hope, trust and lives into the hands of God. The battered ship finally came within sight of Cape Cod on November 19, 1620. Two had died at sea and two had given birth. The Pilgrims scanned the shoreline just to the west of them and described it as, “a goodly land wooded to the brink of the sea,” William Bradford writes, “AFTER LONG BEATINGS AT SEA THEY FELL WITH THAT LAND WHICH IS CALLED CAPE COD; AND THEY WERE NOT A LITTLE JOYFUL…” Before going ashore they decided to write a document known as the Mayflower Compact. At the heart of the compact lay an undisputed conviction that God must be at the center of all law and order and the law without a moral base is really no law at all. The day the Pilgrims signed the May Flower Compact, according to William Bradford, “they came to anchor in the Bay, which was a good harbor…and they blessed the God of Heaven, who brought them over the fast and furious ocean and a sea of trouble.
And they read the following from the Geneva Bible (the Bible the Pilgrims used) “LET THEM, THEREFORE PRAISE THE LORD, BECAUSE HE IS GOOD AND HIS MERCIES ENDURE FOREVER.”
Easter typically provides a wonderful time for all to enjoy our families and friends. This year let’s not forget our country was founded on Christian principles from the Holy bible. Let’s not forget those who fought and died for their friends, family and the future citizens of these United States. Let’s not forget the sacrifices made for our freedoms that we enjoy today.
The Romans were experts in killing people but that day the nails in our Savior’s hands were driven by all humanity without an exception. This weekend Christians all over the world we will be celebrating the risen Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. In addition they will be recalling the ultimate sacrifice made for the sins of all.
Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. In the mid-30s to the mid-50s, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. He wrote this to the church at Ephesus where he had been previous.
Ephesians 1:15–19 (ESV)
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.
May peace carry the day for you and your home this Easter.