Easter is over. It’s like in the kid’s movie "A Bug’s Life," “They came, they ate and they left.” If it only takes an egg hunt to double our attendance than we will hunt eggs every week at my church. I preached to about 400 people this past Sunday and that’s good but as my sermon text said of John & Peter, did they just go “back to their homes (John 20:10).” In other words, did the 400 people just celebrate Easter or was there a response to Easter.
I’m reading a book written by Dean Inserra entitled, The Unsaved Christian: Reaching Cultural Christianity with the Gospel. Mr. Inserra writes, “in the Bible Belt people will dress up to go to church on Easter Sunday, while having no concept of why that holiday even matters on Monday morning. We admire Jesus, but don’t think He really matters except in a Jesus take the wheel crisis kind of way.”
My point is we should be able to articulate why the empty grave matters. Easter can’t just be another way to celebrate spring with the family. If it is then we are in trouble.
The Apostle Paul talked about why the empty grave matters in 1st Corinthians 15:
• Because the grave is empty preaching of the Word of God is meaningful. Other Scripture tells us the Word has power and it bears fruit (15:14 & 15).
• Because the grave is empty your faith in Christ is effectual. Your faith in His resurrection will one day result in your own resurrection (15:14b).
• Because the grave is empty your basic fundamental need of forgiveness and acceptance by God is complete (15:17). Sin is not really your problem, sin has a remedy. The challenge every day is to follow Jesus.
• Because the grave is empty those who know-know Jesus and have passed away are alive today. Just like His grave is empty, one day your grave will be empty too (15:18).
• Because the grave is empty you live a life that is to envied (rather than pitied), full, meaningful, joyful, hopeful, possible and remarkably different than the culture around you (15:19).
The Easter hangover started for me late Sunday night. I wonder where some of the 400 came from, no doubt some were family and in town for the weekend. What I wondered more is was there any spiritual movement, did they get it, were they challenged and changed? Did any move from being a fan of Jesus and become a follower of Jesus?
Easter is more than a spiritual event it’s also a historical event, it really happened, a dead man came back to life. The grave is empty, how can we as “disciples” just go “back to” our “homes.” He asked me to ask you that.
Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.