Part of our worship this Easter, not just as Goss Memorial Church but many believers throughout the world, will involve the emotional contrast with last year.
A year ago the pandemic kept many from gathering. Fear and unknown gripped our lives. Depression, uncertainty, anger, and many other emotions mixed to make for a difficult and challenging spring of 2020.
Before we contrast with this year, how about we look at the Biblical accounts?
- In Matthew 28:10, Jesus tells the disciples worshiping him not to fear.
- In Matthew 28:14, we see the use of money as an attempt to cover the uncertainty the guards faced in trying to explain a missing body.
- In Mark 16:8, we see trembling and astonishment seized the women as they fled the tomb.
- Mark 16:9-10, describe other disciples mourning and weeping.
- Luke 24:11, shows the initial reaction of the disciples was disbelief, perhaps a scoffing.
- But Peter, in Luke 24:12, ran to the tomb and marveled at what happened.
- On the road to Emmaus in Luke 24 we see curiosity, unknown, and burning hearts.
- John 20 shows Mary weeping at the empty tomb.
- John 20 also describes Thomas' flabbergasted disbelief.
- In John 20:19, we see fear of the Jews among the disciples.
- Peter threw himself into the sea (John 21:7) at the realization Jesus was talking to them from shore.
You could make other observations regarding the responses of the characters to the resurrection of Jesus. This quick lise, though, shows appropriate human emotion.
This Easter, what will describe us? As we gather to celebrate the resurrection will we mourn those lost in the pandemic? Will we cry tears of joy? Will we place our trust in Jesus, knowing He has conquered death? Will we worship Him with great encouragement? Will we overflow with love for those visiting or returning to worship in our gatherings?
Embrace this unique celebration of Jesus' resurrection. God has provided an opportunity to encourage, build up, and show the world the hope that has carried us through one of the most difficult years in our lives. We can proclaim that sin infects the heart of all. But we can proclaim sin has not won the victory.
The empty tomb proves the victory of Jesus over sin and death! Will we go and tell with great joy and amazement, or continue to let uncertainty grip our thoughts and actions?