Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that Easter is about the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Because He rose from the grave we can have life. The empty tomb lets the world know that we truly do serve a risen Savior. The stone was rolled away to forever reveal that empty tomb.

What a joy it is to know that the Lord we serve did not face decay in that tomb. The only remains in the tomb were the linens in which He was wrapped. The glory of Easter can be seen in the stone rolled away, the linens lying inside, the women’s excitement, the disciples’ discovery, and the Lord’s appearance.

Yet for me that blessed morning was the culmination of all that went on before. There were the early years when God was manifesting Himself in the life of His Son. Jesus amazed the teachers in the Temple and even caused His mother to ‘treasure all these things in her heart.’

There were the times when He touched a blind man and made him see, a leper and made him clean, a young boy who was dead and raised him up. At other times He calmed the raging sea, cast out a demon from a raging soul and brought peace to those who were troubled in their spirit.

The last week of His life He entered Jerusalem to the cries of Hosanna. There was the cleansing of the Temple from those who would make it a den of thieves. His authority would be questioned and He would teach on the issues that were so prominent at this point.

As the time approached, He gathered His disciples together to observe the Passover with them. Isn’t it interesting that this “Passover” would be the most significant of all time? Think about it. The Israelites observed the Passover to commemorate the angel of death passing over the houses with the blood of a lamb on the doorposts and lintel.

Now the time had come for the Lamb of God to place His blood on the upright and cross piece so that all who believed would find that their sins were forgiven and if you will, passed over. The cross forever stands as a reminder of the Passover Lamb that was slain for the sins of all mankind. What He did on the cross forever stands to show mankind that forgiveness of sin is found in Him.

Yes, I know that the resurrection was, and is, key to life, but the sacrifice freely given was definitely key as well. The darkness of the day Christ died forever stands to remind us of the darkness of the sin in our lives and His willingness to take our sins upon Himself.

Yet as ugly as the cross was and as beautiful as that empty tomb was, God was in both of them. One would have been basically meaningless without the other. But it was on the cross that the “Passover” Lamb of God did for man what He couldn’t do for himself. He took the ugliness of sin and nailed it to the cross.

I suppose each has their special moment at Easter, but mine is the darkness of the day Christ died. Every part from the betrayal to the crucifixion speaks to our lives. We can associate in some form with the darkness of the day Jesus died. After all it was my sin, and yours, that led to that darkness.

Some call it “Good Friday”. In the cartoon B.C., one of them says “I hate the term ‘Good Friday’. The next asks “Why?” The first replies, “My Lord was hanged on a tree that day.” The second asks, “If you were going to be hanged on that day, and He volunteered to take your place, how would you feel?” The first says, “Good.” The second turns to walk away and says, “Have a nice day.”

Let me say this, that regardless of what part of Easter touches your heart the most, just remember that “God causes all things to work together for ‘good’ to those that love Him to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28). He took the darkness of the day Christ died and turned it into the brightness of the day He rose from the grave. What an awesome God!!

JESUS, JESUS, there IS something about that name!

Christ only, always,

Bro. Paul