Easter: Resurrection Defines the Church

Post a Comment » Written on April 13th, 2006     
Filed under: News
OMAHA, NE (April 13, 2006) – Editor’s note: In preparation for Easter, Covenant Communications is sharing devotionals that originally appeared in local Covenant church newsletters and are being published here by permission. The following comes from Bud Palmberg, interim pastor of First Covenant Church in Omaha.

By Bud Palmberg

Charles Allen wrote:

“The most vivid portrayal of the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ that I have ever seen was on TV one Sunday afternoon. Had I known what was coming, I think I would have turned to something else and not have let our two little children (ages four and six) see it – but after it started, we decided to let them see it all the way through.

“They see all the fighting and shooting in the Wild West shows, but that doesn’t bother them – they know it isn’t real. But this was Jesus! Since they were old enough to learn, they had been taught that Jesus was good and kind and that he loved everybody. They sing, ‘Jesus Loves Me, This I Know’ and they have come to love Him.

“They saw men whipping him and it broke their hearts. When he was nailed to the cross, they cried. They had heard about the cross, but it had never been so real to them before. They could hardly bear it. Then he was buried, and I have never seen two more confused and unhappy children. I had to hold the sobbing children in my arms as I told them to keep on watching and see what happened.

“Then, after a commercial break, Easter morning came. There were the women on the way to the tomb, feeling just as our own little children felt. But the resurrection came. He rose out of the grave and walked in the garden. And what a marvelous relief and joy showed on the faces of those two little children. The little four-year-old girl began to dance and pirouette, her tear-streaked face alight with joy as she squealed, ‘Jesus is alright! Jesus is alright! He was dead, but he rised again, daddy, he rised again!”

This is the joyous good news of Easter! What began with the huge ache that death brings, ended with the heart-stopping news that death was dead! This is not religious or metaphysical double speak. It is fact.

The church does not try to explain the resurrection, because it is the resurrection that explains the church! Nothing else could have shocked the church into existence.

One bright sunny morning, my wife and I were walking near Gordon’s Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. There were several others in the garden that glorious morning. A bright-eyed bundle of energy ran ahead of his family and pushed past others who were waiting to enter the tomb. In just moments the boy burst out into the sunshine and shouted to his little sister, “Never mind, there’s nothing in there!”


Editor’s note: to read earlier devotionals, please see:

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