by Rex Yancey

Rejoicing in the Resurrection
Rex Yancey
1 Corinthians 15:1-8

On February 27, 1991, at the height of Desert Storm, Ruth Dillow received a message from the Pentagon that no soldier's family wants to hear. Her son, Clayton Carpenter, had stepped on a land mine in the Persian Gulf and was killed.

She wrote, ''I can't begin to describe my grief and shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For three days I wept. For three days I expressed anger and loss. For three days people tried to comfort me, but to no avail because the loss was so great.''

Then after three of the most difficult days of her life, the phone rang. The voice on the other end said, ''Mom, it's me. I'm alive.'' Ruth Dillow said, ''I couldn't believe it at first. But then I recognized his voice, and he really was alive.'' She said, ''I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son whom I had thought was dead, was really alive.'' Then Ruth Dillow said, ''I'm sure none of you can even begin to understand how I felt.''

And for most of us she was right. But Peter would have understood, wouldn't he? And so would James and John and Andrew, and Mary Magdalene- and Mary, Jesus' mother. They had all watched Jesus die on a Roman cross. They had heard him say, ''Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.'' They saw him take his last breath, and watched as the soldier thrust a spear through his heart.

Like Ruth Dillow, for the next three days they suffered great sorrow and uncertainty in their hearts-until Sunday morning rolled around and the women discovered that Jesus was gone from his borrowed tomb. What Ruth Dillow felt when she heard her son's voice on the telephone is what the disciples felt when Jesus appeared to them alive in the Upper Room that Sunday evening.

My prayer is that all of us will gain some sense of this same joy and wonder as we focus on the resurrection.

V. 3, ''First importance.'' Our salvation is based on ...

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