Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” ~ John 11:25-27
It was the fall of 1965…
I was a Freshman at Clarke Memorial College in Newton, Mississippi, and was studying for the ministry at this junior college preparing to go the next year to Samford University. It was the height of the Vietnam War and I had just heard another high school classmate had been killed in that far-away place. This guy was more than just a classmate though… he was a friend. During my last 2 years in High School, there were daily postings of our young classmates that perished in Vietnam.
The next spring I was preaching on Easter Sunday at a church without a pastor. The auditorium was jammed with over 250 people, and I rose to bring a message of hope. As I preached on the text from John 11:25-27, I saw, in the back of the room, a young man in uniform. The more I looked at him, the more familiar he seemed. However, my vision was about as bad then as it is now, and without my glasses (trying to look cool), I could not quite make him out.
At the invitation and altar call, he started down the aisle. As he drew closer, his face became more and more familiar. It was my friend that had been reported killed in action. Come to find out, he was actually MIA, made it out of the war alive, and made it home.
Before he got to me I cried out, “YOU’RE ALIVE — YOU’RE ALIVE!!!” The emotion I felt as this young man seemingly walked out of the grave overcame me. Joy overwhelmed the whole congregation!
I think we must have felt, in a small way, what that first week after Easter must have been like!
In a small way, I understand how the disciples must have felt. Having lost the One they loved — their Teacher, Master, and Friend — all hope seemed lost.
But on that first Easter morning, all creation must have resounded with joy at the news, when the words were first proclaimed…
On Easter, we celebrate our risen Lord. We remember the sacrifice He made, and the victory He won. We come together as believers, from every nation and tongue, to proclaim the Good News the angel told the disciples on that day… HE IS RISEN!
As we celebrate our risen Lord this coming Sunday, I hope that you will find a house of worship and join with brothers and sisters of faith in joyful adoration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If you are in the Chattanooga area, I’d like to personally invite you to join us at Abba’s House. Our service begins at 10:30.
Maybe you are shut-in, and can’t get to a church. At Abba’s House, we live-stream our services, so you can tune in and be a part. Visit abbashouse.com/live to join our worship service online.
From our house to yours… Happy Easter!