by Ron Clarkson

Ron Clarkson
Easter, April 15, 1990

Father, I thank you for this Easter morning. We think of the past Easters and the joy that they have brought to us. I pray for this Easter morning, this morning, that you would make it our best Easter yet. We pray that we will enjoy its beauty, the fun, the laughter of children, the closeness of families. But most of all I pray that we will begin to understand and appreciate the true meaning of Easter. will you take us back in our minds eye, take us back about 2,000 years to help us see what the crowds saw, to feel the intensity and emotion that they felt, to hear the sounds and words they heard, help us to see and help us to understand what it was like when Jesus Christ walked on this earth. May each of us here, as we grab a glimpse of the past, learn what your message is for us today. Amen

Read Luke 15:1-15; Acts 3:14

Murderer, revolutionary, insurrectionist! That's what they always called me. I was the public enemy number 1 in Jerusalem a few years back. And I was good. I was young, strong and I lived life with passion. You see, I wasn't just the ordinary run of the mill criminal, I was a rebel, but a different kind of rebel.

I was a rebel for God, for his people. . . my people, the Jewish nation. And I truly believed God was going to send his Messiah, and we Israelites would be liberated from the tyranny of Rome. I hated the Romans and I wasn't sorry at all when we would rob the Romans or ransack their storehouses. No, I wasn't even sorry for the soldiers I killed with my bare hands because I did it as a patriot.

But today, I'm not sure about my "patriotism" or exactly where my loyalties lie. And that's why I come here, here to this empty tomb. I come here every once in a while so I can think. It's quiet and peaceful here now, but it hasn't always been like that. This place was the hotspot in Jerusalem a few years back, just a few days after . . . well, after I was let go, no ... released, well, set ...

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