Holding on to Easter's Power
Terry J. Hallock
The Scripture foundation for this messages comes from John 20, verses 19-23. The day is the first Easter Sunday. The time is some twelve hours after the first witnesses have been confronted with Jesus' resurrection. The scene is a home somewhere in Jerusalem and the cast of characters is the disciples of the Risen Savior.
On the evening of the very day Jesus had risen from the dead note the emotional state that prevails among the disciples. On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, WITH THE DOORS LOCKED FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS (John 20:19). Were the disciples rejoicing over the news brought to them by Mary Magdalene that she had seen Jesus and that He was alive? No, they were cowering behind locked doors in fear that somehow what happened to Jesus on Calvary might happen to them. Were they celebrating as they recalled the many times Jesus had told them this day would arrive and His resurrection would occur? No, they were barricaded inside a darkened house with all the shades drawn in paralyzing fear that the world would make them pay a terrible price for following Jesus. Were they out in the streets telling everyone they could find that Jesus was who He said He was because He had done what He said He would do? No again. Despite the testimony of Mary Magdelene and despite the face that John tells us both he and Peter had been to the empty tomb and seen the unused grave cloths still folded neatly inside the sepulchre, on the very day the disciples should have been afraid of nothing they were afraid of everything. The power and hope of Easter morning had been locked inside the fear and darkness of Easter night. Rather than beginning to live the victorious life that Jesus had won for them, the disciples were existing in despair and defeat.
Move twenty centuries into the future. The day is Sunday, April 30, 2000 AD -- just seven days after the Church of Jesus Chri ...
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