He is Risen! A familiar phrase we hear around Easter time. Of course, we know that it refers to Jesus being raised from the dead, but what’s the big deal?
To the small band of dedicated disciples of Jesus, it began to unravel a very twisted, tangled cord of hopelessness. Let’s go back for a moment to that very first Easter morning. Let our minds wander back into the world of the disciples over 2000 years ago. Maybe we will see things a little bit clearer if we are but a fly-on-the-wall.
Here with this hopeful band of committed disciples of a wise, enamoring teacher who claimed to be from God Himself—The Messiah. He is here with them; loving them, teaching them, and preparing them to be a part of this Kingdom of God he speaks about. They will reign with him. Surely, they will march into Jerusalem, overthrow the government, and crown him King of Israel.
And yes. They do enter the city of Jerusalem. He rides in on the back of a donkey while the crowd waves palm branches and shouts, “Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest.”
BUT THEN, EVERYTHING GOES TERRIBLY WRONG. Their leader, their mentor, and their king is arrested and sentenced to death. It can’t be happening. Their agony, their confusion, the sinking of their hearts, and the gut-wrenching torment they feel becomes their reality. They watch as their beloved ‘king-to-be’ is marched down the Via Dolorosa bearing a cross upon his brutally wounded and bleeding back. He stumbles, he falls, he can no longer carry his own cross. As his very life is waning from his body, he is led up the stony path to the top of the hill at Golgotha to hang on a cross in the noonday sun.
How could they have been so wrong? Where is their hope? Are they next? It’s not supposed to be like this. The despair and deepening turmoil of their souls became twisted and mangled into a chord of unbreakable grief. It’s a Friday of unbearable pain and loss. How? Why? What?
And then early Sunday morning, the women came running from the empty tomb saying that an angel appeared telling them, “He is not here. He is risen!” The incredible disbelief and shock shook them to the core, deep into the very marrow of their bones. There is a ray of light, a glimpse of hope, a disbelief as their horror begins to turn inside out. What does it all mean?
Come and find out this Easter morning when Pastor Hank Miller brings us his message entitled “Hope.”
The Community Church of SunBird would love to have you celebrate Easter with us. We begin our Holy Week celebration with our traditional Maundy Thursday Service on April 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom. Please come and join us in celebrating this special Passover evening.
We will begin Easter morning, April 12, at 9 a.m. in the ballroom with a beautiful Cantata by Lloyd Larson called “Behold the Lamb” performed by our very own Celebration Singers. Our Easter message, “Hope,” by Pastor Hank Miller will follow. We would love to celebrate with you!