Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.”
Luke 24: 1-3 (NLT)
It was about fifteen years ago now, that I traveled to Scotland for a week of golf on some of the historic courses of the game. What made the trip especially memorable for me was that I took it with my precious son, Nathan, as the two of us joined seven other father-son pairings. Throughout the week we traveled the Scottish countryside and played courses across Scotland, including where golf began at the famous Old course in St. Andrews, Scotland.
While in St. Andrews, Nathan, being who he is, arranged a memorable moment for both of us as he walked us one evening out on the beach nestled between the first fairway of the Old Course and the body of water called the Firth of Forth. Nathan informed me that we were standing on a stretch of beach where some scenes from one of my favorite movies of all time “Chariots of Fire,” were filmed.
There’s one scene in that movie which takes place at the conclusion of a track and field event, where Eric Liddell, one of the central figures in the story, is speaking in the rain against a backdrop of dark clouds and umbrellas, to a group of spectators who have gathered to hear him share after he had competed in the track meet. As the rain falls unceasingly on the gathering assembled on the now-quiet track, he compares faith to running in a race, as he proffers something for them to think about—
“Where does the power come from to run the race?”
While he continues to share, the rain begins to slow, then stops and the clouds give way to blue skies, as one-by-one the umbrellas are folded away. And as everyone stands in the now glorious sunshine of the day, Eric answers the question himself—
“It comes from within…the Kingdom of God is within you…through the love of Christ.”
“That”, Eric continues, “is where the power and hope comes from to run the race, it comes from within.”
We are now heading toward yet another Easter Sunday celebration, and I wonder if we need to feel that same sense of power within. That power of the Risen Christ is what we will be reminded of again on Easter Sunday in the activities, recollections and celebrations of that day—that first Easter—which occurred over 2,000 years ago.
It was a day so long ago which began with a morning where we find those closest to Christ in continuing despair from what had occurred three days earlier on Friday, where those disciples and other devoted followers of Christ like Mary Magdalene had seen Christ hanging dead on the cross. Three days later they arrived at the tomb, where Christ had been laid, to anoint what they thought would be His lifeless body, with spices. They still remembered Friday and Christ hanging on the cross, as they came that morning looking for a dead body.
But He was not there. And the angels at the tomb reminded them of what Christ had earlier told them—that He would be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, buried, and on the third day He would rise to life once again.
He was risen. With that reminder, they remembered His words.
And in that moment at the tomb, Mary, those disciples and others present, went from tragedy to triumph. They went from Friday to Sunday. They remembered. And they realized what He had done for them—and for you and me—on the Cross.
And so when they returned that Easter Sunday morning to find the body they had seen hanging breathless on the cross on Friday and then laid in a tomb, they found instead that Christ had indeed risen from that cold dark tomb. And in that moment they were lifted from the tragedy of Friday to the triumph of Sunday—all through the love of Christ. All through the love of Christ for them, and for you and me. And now they saw; now they remembered, and now they believed.
Where does the power come from? It comes from within. It comes from a belief deep within each of us—a belief in the risen Lord which occurred that first Easter morning.
Are you still at Friday in some part of your life? Do you still seem to have more to do than you can possibly handle? What is it that has just hit you full in the face and which you never saw coming—an illness has returned, a diagnosis of cancer, a relationship has ended, a career choice looms in front of you, your child is struggling, your job has ended abruptly? What is it that is trying to pull you down and drag you to the side of the curb?
Whatever it is, remember—the power of the risen Christ is within you and will never leave you no matter what you face.
That’s the message of Easter. His work on the cross for us is finished. The tomb in which He was laid is empty and He is alive. And that no matter what we are going through, no matter what we face—Christ is risen and alive, is with us and will never leave us.
He is alive to move us past the dark clouds and rain to the sunshine, from problems to purpose, and to restore our hope, to redirect our lives, and to help move us forward on a path through whatever we are facing today and every day.
Christ has risen. Christ is alive.
And that’s all the power within us, which you and I will ever need.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.