Jesus is Risen!!

Our journey begins today.

Day 14 of 2 Weeks 2 the Cross: Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.

But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.”

So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news. Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”

The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The stone is rolled away.

The stone is rolled away.

The ground shook with the force of the angel of the Lord hurtling toward the tomb to roll away the stone blocking the entrance (and exit). Roman soldiers were so frightened by the power of God they fell as dead. The angel tells the women, there to see where Jesus lay, to not be afraid but to believe.

“He is not here! He is risen, just as He said!!”

They listened and ran, hearts pounding with fear and overwhelming joy.

Just then, Jesus met them.

And these are the first recorded words of our risen Savior by this gospel writer:

Good morning!

What a morning! This morning turned the deepest grief into the most passionate praise! As the day dawned, death fell in defeat! Jesus is alive!! He is standing! He is seeking those whom He has called.

It is indeed the most wonderful and good morning in all of history.

Jesus continues to speak His “good morning” to all of us willing to hear and receive, each day. Jesus meets us where we need Him most, in the midst of our fear and our joy, to share it with us. Jesus not only wants to be in conversation with us, He wants to be our conversation, sending us to go and tell others how they can meet with and see Jesus.

Our response ought to be like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary: taking hold of His nail-pierced feet in worship.

That is why so many gather together in houses of God across the world today, on Easter Sunday. We celebrate and worship our Risen Savior, our Prince of Peace, our King of Kings, our Jesus who meets us and greets us with a precious Good Morning.

This afternoon, my family read the Scripture and shouted and cheered when Jesus rose! He is not here, He is risen!! And, we completed planting our Easter garden. The kids discovered that the stone had been rolled away and Jesus was no longer in the tomb. Then we planted morning glories around the crosses and near the grave as a sign of new life coming up from the ground, just as Jesus defeated death and rose from the depths of the Earth as our victorious King.

Jackson finds a good spot to plant his morning glory seeds.

Jackson finds a good spot to plant his morning glory seeds.

Grandma helped Lauren find a good spot to plant her seeds.

Grandma helps Lauren find a good spot to plant her seeds.

I hope as we wake up tomorrow, our 2 Weeks 2 the Cross journey now complete, we will see our garden and know it is, indeed, a Good Morning.

Jesus is risen!!!

Jesus dies and is buried

Our journey begins today.

Day 12 & 13 of 2 Weeks 2 the Cross: Matthew 27:45-54, 57-61

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah!”

Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, fixed it on a reed, and offered Him a drink. But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him!”

Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked and the rocks were split. The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And they came out of the tombs after His resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.

When the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “This man really was God’s Son!”

When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated there, facing the tomb.

Jackson places Jesus in the tomb

Jackson places Jesus in the tomb

Because of Jesus, I am accepted. My sins are as far as the east is from the west. It was Jesus who took my punishment. Only Jesus could reunite me with God, tearing the temple veil from top to bottom to prove it. His death caused earthquakes and rocks to split. His life transforms mine.

Even the people who crucified him, the brutal Roman soldiers, were terrified, not necessarily because of the stirring of the Earth, but the stirring of their hearts. They realized the man who hung on the cross dead in front of them was surely the Son of God.

Today we started making an Easter garden. The kids went on a hunt for rocks and sticks to plant. We filled a large flower pot with rick, dark soil, and made a hill like Golgotha, where we fashioned and set up three crosses. We also created a new tomb in the garden, tenderly placed Jesus’ body inside, and rolled a large stone across the entrance.

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Oh the anticipation of Sunday morning!