Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Resolution

As Easter approached this year, I began reevaluating my relationship with Jesus. What better time to do so than when we celebrate His resurrection. I decided to take time and look at each of the gospel accounts of when Jesus arose. As I read Mark's account, I was dumbfounded to realize how very lacking in my own faith I truly was of meeting with my risen Savior, not just this Easter Sunday, but every worship service I take part in.

Mark 16:1-8 (KJV)
"And when the sabbath was past Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us always the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid."

As I read this just before Easter Sunday, I pondered a few things from this account. First of all, why were they coming to anoint him? In verse 1 we are told a group of women are headed to Jesus' tomb with sweet spices to anoint him. Now, in that time, those spices were used to offset the odor of death...but they had been under Jesus' teaching all this time and yet they came to spice up the dead? Had they forgotten His words, his teachings? Clearly they had. In three different gospel accounts, Christ tells his followers that he will suffer and be raised from the dead in three days (Matthew 16:21; Luke 9:22; Mark 8:31), yet these followers of Christ still headed to the tomb, not to see a risen Savior, rather a rotting corpse.

I began to think, how many times do I really attend church service expecting to see a risen Savior? Do I go every single time to meet Him? Or am I going to try to spice up the smell of a rotting own dead and sinful body...because even though my spirit is so very willing to commune with Christ, my flesh is so very weak (Matthew 26:40). I'd say I'm very much like these women and though I know the words and teachings of my Jesus, I all to often forget and focus more on covering up my own stench than sitting at His feet and just taking time to worship.

Next, while the women were prepared to go to the grave to anoint Him, they weren't prepared to open the tomb?  "And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us always the stone from the door of the sepulchre?" (v.3) What good does it do to make all the preparations, yet not be able to roll the stone away? When we set out to see Christ every week, shouldn't we be ready to roll the stone away...the stone to our hearts? Or are we walking into a service, looking ready and smelling good only to be completely unprepared to open our heart to hear what He has to say in that small amount of time we are meeting with Him? Again, I realized what a failure I have been at taking in every little word He has for me in every single service I'm in.

Finally, as the women get to the grave and they see the stone is already rolled away, they still went in looking for a dead man (Luke 24:3), only to find a messenger of God "and they were affrighted." (v.5) In the Greek, that word translates to amazed. Why were they so astounded? I mean really, after walking with Jesus and watching him feed thousands, heal multitudes, and being someone that had been set free from demons (Mary Magdalene) were they in shock? However, I began to think about many times do I end up utterly amazed when I receive a miracle or an answered prayer? Why don't I expect it? Even knowing His word, I still seem to forget what an awesome and amazing God I serve, a God that's not dead, has surely risen and deserves so much more of me than I seem to give.

So this Easter, I'm making a resolution...I'm resolving to remember and EXPECT with an open heart I'm going to meet a risen Savior that has something to say to me each and every time I allow Him to.

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