There we were, all cozy with sin and all. We were hating what we did but when it came down to it, as soon as the temptation was thrown in our faces we succumbed to it. Too easily. In fact, we were such an easy score for the enemy that he didn’t have to make much of an effort. We willingly ate the apples that he offered, over and over again. We took a bite, chewed, and swallowed. We were powerless to stop.
We tried to follow the laws that God gave us. “Do not eat the apples.” That didn’t work because ink and paper (or chisel and stone) was only part of what we needed. God showed man that we can not follow rules for the sake of following rules. We do not have the power within us to follow all the rules. For if we break one of them, we break them all. (See James 2:10)
Not only do we fail at following rules, but in our thinking we can make it better by making more rules to help us follow the main rules. Examples such as, “Do not walk by the apple orchard because you might eat the apples,” and “If you must walk by the apple orchard, turn your face toward Raleigh, and say the Lord’s Prayer.” “When you must walk by the apple orchard twice in a day, turn your face toward Raleigh and say the Lords Prayer twice each time, for as many times as you pass by, you must pray that many times.” And so on, and so on. You can see it in Isaiah 28. Verse 10 says, “For it is: do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there.” Read the whole chapter of Isaiah 28. We are eating apples all day. We don’t have to go by the orchard, either. There’s a roving apple cart.
Then Jesus came along and upset the apple cart. Not only did He throw the apple cart on it’s side, but He trashed it, He stomped on it, He tore it to pieces, and burned it. The whole apple orchard has been destroyed. Did you hear that sound? What was that?
The disciples were sucker-punched out of left field. Jesus is dead. He said it Himself, “It is finished!” Over. Over but not out.
They took His body down from the cross and gave it to Joseph of Arimathea who had the bravery to ask for it. So Joseph wrapped Jesus up in linen and placed Him in a brand new tomb. They closed it up with a huge stone, sealed it (ha), and put guards there to make sure nobody came anywhere close.
They had no idea, did they? Christ Himself carved out the grave with His finger at creation. He made the tree that the cross was made out of, and made the iron for the nails. God spoke the rock door into existence! And God knew exactly what He was doing then. And He knows exactly what He’s doing now. At this very moment while you’re reading this, His Spirit is standing beside you. Wait, I heard it again. Did you hear that sound?
Anyway, a violent earthquake occurred while the soldiers were standing guard, and an angel of the Lord came down and rolled the stone away. The guards were frozen with fear as the angel went to the tomb, rolled back the stone, and then sat on it! Yay; that gives my heart such joy! The angel sat on the stone door! Sitting on the stone speaks volumes. Eternal volumes. Christ has conquered sin and death and now He is sitting down at the right Hand of God the Father. The angel demonstrated what had happened in the heavens.
The guards were terrified of the angel and they “shook and became like dead men.” Makes sense to me; that would be terrifying. Jesus wasn’t in the tomb anymore. He was up and out of there! No tomb can hold Him. He is God. He willingly gave His life up. Mankind didn’t take His life, it was His decision to give His life – for you and for me.
Christ has risen! Jesus appeared to women first (isn’t God so kind in doing this?) and then they ran and told the disciples. In time, Jesus appeared to them as well and was eating, talking, and being with them. You can be quite sure that hugs and kisses were enjoyed! He told Thomas to touch His Hands, where the nails were, and to touch His side, where the spear was shoved. So He was touchable. He still is touchable. He is real, He is here, He is alive! And right now? He is real, He is here, and He is alive! And there it is, that same sound.
He is pure love. Everything about Christ is pure, clean, and whole. He is beautiful and His gift to us is indescribable. We do not deserve one bit of His love. But He gives it to us, anyway. It’s like with Adam and Eve. They messed up, and He knew it. But the next day He still showed up! He came to them and called their names. He knew where they were hiding, but His Hand was still stretched out to them in total love.
Amazing, isn’t it? That God would love us that much. Eternally and forevermore. There’s that sound again…can you hear it, too? That’s the sound of falling chains. I hear the sound everywhere. They are falling all over the place. Do you have chains on your heart or in your mind? Cry out to Jesus for help. He is in the business of making everything new! Just call for Him and run into His Arms. The chains that bind you will fall. Only Christ can do this, so grant your heart what it yearns for: to no longer be enslaved to sin and to be reunited with your Creator.
Run to Him because He died for you. He loves you that much. Hallelujah! He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Scripture to ponder: Matthew 28
Today’s weapon: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9