Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mid-Week Message - If You Had Been There

“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”  Luke 24:5-7 (NLT)

If you had been there when Jesus was arrested, what would you have done?  How would you have reacted?  Would you have stepped up to defend Him or would you have sunk into the background out of fear?  

If you had been there during His trial, would you have spoken up for Him?  Would you have shouted for His innocence or been silent as the crowd screamed for Barrabas to be released?  Would your belief that Jesus was the Christ have allowed you to rush to His aid?  

If you had been there as He was forced to carry His cross to the place of His death, would you have offered to help Him carry it or stood back in horror and tears as you witnessed His struggle while so terribly wounded?

If you had been there as the hammer pounded the nails into His flesh, seen the crown of thorns pushed cruelly down into the skin of His brow, seen the mocking and the insults hurled at Him, seen Him denied a fresh drink of water and then witnessed the spear thrust into His side, how would you have handled it?  

The Easter story is one most of us grew up with.  We know what happened to our Savior.  It has become something that is talked about almost matter-of-factly.  We understand it was God's way of uniting us to Himself by providing His Son, His perfect Lamb, as the sacrifice which bought our forgiveness and freedom.  We know, but do we experience it?  Is it personal?  

Now, what if you had been there with the women who discovered His body missing?  What would have been your reaction?  Would you have remembered that He said He would rise again and rejoice, or would you have assumed it had been stolen?  I can't think of anything more glorious than the open tomb of the Son of Almighty God.  I would like to think that I would have fallen to my knees at that moment and begun praising.  But I would also like to think that I would have stood up for Him, fought for Him, been willing to lose my own life for Him.  

Easter is a time of personal reflection as we remember all He did out of His love for each of us.  It is wonderful to know the story, to read the scriptures, to hear the sermons.  However, in order to really appreciate it, we need to place ourselves there.  We need to take part and allow it to become more than a story.  We need for it to be personal and real.  May God bless you as you experience His love on Easter and every day.  

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