After His death, Jesus was laid in a tomb hewn out of rock and a huge stone was placed at the entrance. Then, on the third day, the women coming to the tomb discovered that the stone had been rolled away. As I reflected on Easter this year, I concluded that Easter is a time for rock and roll. Jesus invites us all to roll away the rocks in our life that have entombed us in darkness. Please read more.
We read this in Matthew 27:59-60, “Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.” Then, on that first Easter morning when the woman arrived at the tomb they were greeted with these words, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified” Matthew 28:5. This Easter we need to allow these words to seep into the depths of our soul. Each one of us should ask ourselves this question, “What am I afraid of?”
I believe that most, if not all of us, are most afraid that others will one day discover our faults and sins and reject us and turn away from us. The shame brought on by our sins constantly whispers this fear into our thoughts. As a result, we fail to seek the assistance of others, thereby preventing them from bringing the peace of Christ to the struggles in our life. Instead, we bury our brokenness into our tomb, hewn from fear and shame. As a result, we continue to struggle, and we fail to experience the real and lasting joy of Easter.
Take a moment to reflect on these passages:
- “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
- “You must know, my brothers, that through him forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you, and in regard to everything from which you could not be justified under the law of Moses, in him every believer is justified. Acts 13:38-39
- “But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life.” Romans 6:22
- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
- “Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Just as the tomb could not hold our Lord, Jesus came so that we would not be held captive to our past, to our sins, to our addictions, and to our fears. In John 20:1 we read this, “On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.” What giant rock do we need to remove from our life to allow the light of Christ to enter?
Many of us are still entombed by the belief that we will one day experience the Joy of Christ but only after we have eliminated the brokenness and the sin that creeps into our life each day. That is contrary to the central message of Easter. Sin has lost its grip on us. True and lasting joy comes from the knowledge that despite our sinfulness, God sent His son to die and rise again on the third day to atone for our sins and open the gates of Heaven. Our joy comes in knowing that we have salvation through Jesus Christ! Salvation is not something we can earn, but rather it is a gift from God. We need to accept the gift of His Son Jesus Christ and do all we can to conform our lives to His teachings.
Through Baptism, we have been born again by water and the Holy Spirit to a new life in Christ. We all need to roll back the rock of shame which plunges us into our self-hewn tomb of isolation and despair. It only needs to be rolled enough to allow just a sliver of Christ’s Easter light to reach us in our darkness. When we do, we can emerge from our grave and live in the abundant life Jesus promised us. Jesus has paid the price for our sins. Let us live in joy.
What is keeping you captive? It is time that those rocks must roll!
Heaven Father we are told that the earth quaked on that first Easter morning. Father shake loose the rocks in my life that prevent me from experiencing the joy you have planned for me. Amen!
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