>This is a holy weekend for more than 2 billion people. It is rather remarkable how many people this very day will celebrate something they believe to be true, that is, that the man Jesus of Nazareth, after having been brutally tortured and murdered (on what is now called Good Friday, just two days ago), rose from the dead on this day. Like Christmas celebrates his birth, Easter celebrates his resurrection.

Resurrection is a rather incredible claim. The apostle Paul made a big deal of it: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless.”

It is something to seriously ponder. Even for the cynical. Personally I think a good personal project is to cut through the garbage of so much religiosity (remember it was those hypocritical, self-righteous religious types that murdered Jesus) and just get to know the story and think about it. Wonder about it. It’s rather remarkable.

The apostle John wrote about those who loved Jesus, who new him personally, talked with him, walked with him in life, listened to him teach, saw him perform healings, saw him walk on water, witnessed him feed five thousand and turn water into wine and cast out demons, saw him command the wind to stop, walked with him triumphantly into Jerusalem for the Jewish Passover celebration, then saw him crucified and buried on Friday, and then found his tomb empty on Sunday. John wrote:

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes. But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

“I have seen the Lord.” That’s an incredible statement.

Happy Easter!

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