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Message From Pastor Leon

posted Mar 20, 2012, 12:42 PM by Tracey Morris   [ updated Mar 26, 2016, 7:38 AM ]

One time the apostle Paul was trying to describe the blessings of God in Christ Jesus. He apparently could not find words adequate for the wonder of it because finally all he could say was, “No eye has seen; no ear has heard; no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9). There are times when words cannot begin to describe what you are trying to say.

It was l969. The Viet Nam war was always in the news. Hundreds of thousands of young men were in the fight. Tens of thousands had already died. This is the story of just one soldier. A shell came in and exploded a young man’s body. All that was left were his metal I. D. tags. The tags were sent back home to his mother and father who were heart-broken over the loss of their son. Their only child had been killed. They had wanted to have more children but could not, and now the only child they were able to have was gone. And it was so hard to come to terms with it all, especially since there was no body and no closure.

In time the war finally ended, and the soldiers came home, and the prisoners of war were released. One day, the telephone rang in the home of that couple who once had a son and now had only a pair of metal tags. The still grieving mother picked up the phone, and the voice said: “Hello Mom. It’s me, Nick.”

Her heart stopped. She was breathless and could not speak at first. Finally, she said softly, “Is this some kind of cruel joke?”

Nick replied, “No, no, no, mom. It’s me, your son. I have been a prisoner of war, and have just been released. There was some sort of mix-up, and no one knew what happened. But I‘m okay, and I‘m coming home.” There are times when words are not enough. How could mere words describe how that mother felt?

That was how it must have felt on that first Easter morning for those who loved Jesus. Jesus was crucified on a Friday afternoon on a cross at a place called “Golgotha.” And then Jesus was placed in a tomb, and then the tomb was sealed, and that seemed to be the end.

Jesus’ body remained in the grave Friday night, all day Saturday, and into Sunday morning. Then, early on Sunday morning some women came to the cemetery to visit the tomb. The women approached the burial chamber and were suprised to see that someone had rolled away the stone. They went inside the tomb and there were two angels who said to them, “Jesus is not here. He has been raised from the dead by the powers of God just like he told you it would happen.” You can imagine their reaction. They were astounded, astonished, amazed, awestruck, dazzled, and dumbfounded-- but even all those words put together cannot express how they must have felt. Mark 16:8 says, “Trembling and afraid, the women went out and fled from the tomb, and they said nothing to anyone.” They could not find the words.

This was not a case of mistaken identity. This was a man who was killed a most cruel way and died in front of many people who knew him. There was no mistake about him being dead. But now he was alive. What words could convey their emotions? And what words would ever be able to convince someone else? But a short time later, Jesus would appear to them, and to the disciples, and then to as many as 500 people. It was amazing beyond words, and those who saw him came to believe in Him as the Savior of the world.

Easter Sunday is about a miracle and a future almost too wonderful for words. But still we do need words, and so here are some of the best. In John 14:1-3 Jesus said to the disciples, “Let not our hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me. For in my father’s house there are many rooms, and I go there to prepare a place for you. And someday, I will come again and I will take you to be with me, so that where I am, you may be also.” In John 11 Jesus had said, “I am the resurrection and the life; whosoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live again.” And Paul said in Romans chapter 14, “Whether we live or die we belong to the Lord, for to this end Christ died and rose from the dead, that he might be Lord of the living and the dead." These are the words that attempt to describe what Paul says can’t hardly be described. As the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” In him we can place our trust, both now and forever. Happy Easter!

--Pastor Leon