He is risen! He is not here! Those words are repeated all over the Christian world in large cathedrals and tiny churches. They are cherished by Christian brothers and sisters in Chinese house churches as well as by believing pilgrims visiting the Holy Land to be hear the actual places where these world-shaking events took place. They are repeated in worship liturgies, hymns of praise, songs of celebration, sermons, homilies, lessons, and the deepest thoughts of all Christian disciples. What an amazing fact --- Jesus is not dead! He is alive and has conquered sin and death! The spontaneous response echoes across the world....."Hallelujah! Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives forevermore!"
That first Easter morning was marked by fear and wonder. The women coming early to the Joseph's tomb where Jesus had been laid were confronted by God's angelic messenger, the Easter Angel. The angel's words were at once both comforting and commanding. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "He is not here. See the place where they laid Him." This testimony was at once both a verbal witness of the resurrection and a visual witness. He told them the great news and showed them the great news. And from that time, the angel's witness has formed the pattern of our own witness for all disciples of Jesus!
It is appropriate for all of us to consider that the joy of Easter is not simply to be experienced in a once-each-year worship service in a church. The joy and power of Jesus' resurrection is to be shared every day through our lives and through our words with all around us.
How well will we do this? No matter how well we ORGANIZE to do this, how well we TRAIN to do this, how well we SUPPORT doing this, and how well we TALK ABOUT doing this, the genuine matter is DOING THIS!
One of the frequent ways Satan hinders our witness to Christ is encouraging us to become busy with peripheral matters that divert our energies and attention from the central matter!
This story may illustrate the situation with many of us: A newly hired traveling salesman named Gooch wrote his first summary sales report to his company's home office. It stunned "the sales department brass" because it was obvious that the new man lacked what they thought was the necessary sophistication and professionalism for their business.
Here is what the salesman wrote to the staff: Deer Boss - How ya'll doing? I'm workin hard and fownd these persons which ain't never bawt a dimes worth of nothin from us and sum who ain't never herd what we got to offer. I sole em a couple of hunnerd thousand dolars of stuff. I am now off to Chicargo. Bye.
Before Gooch could be contacted by the Sales Department Manager to ask him how he ever got hired by their company, another letter was received from him in Chicago:
Deer Boss -
I got here and started right off. I sole a half a millyun dolars worth of guds. Gotta go. There's mo people up here. Sined, Gooch.
Fearful to fire Gooch, the Sales Manager dumped the problem in the lap of the President/CEO of the company. The next morning the staff was amazed to see the two letters from Gooch posted on the bulletin board along with this memo from the company President:
To All Salespeople:
We ben spendin too much time tryin to spel insted of trying to sel. Let's get owt there and do mo. Gooch is on the rode doin a grate job for us, and you shud go out and do sum good like he done! Sined, Yur President
Sometimes we get so occupied with all the details of administering and supporting the "company" that we forget what the "company" is here to accomplish! In our case as the Church, we get so involved in doing "things" that we lose sight of the most important thing.
Let us all recommit ourselves to WHO WE ARE as Christians, OUR MISSION as Christians, and WHY WE DO OUR MISSION as His disciples! He is alive, so we have all the power of His resurrection at our disposal. The angel's command still holds true, "GO AND TELL!"