Good morning everyone:
Have you been to a cemetery recently? Most of us likely have not. Of all the places we could be, why would anyone choose to be surrounded by gravestones and other reminders of death. Some people might even admit feeling a little squeamish about just driving by a cemetery.
A cemetery should make us all pause and reflect on the tragic truth that death is the wages of sin, and “just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). Death is not something only others face. We all will meet it one day. Yet years ago many churches, especially those out in the country, had cemeteries right outside their doors. Why have such stark evidence of death so near? The reason is not a secret. It’s because of Easter.
Friday evening in our Tenebrae service the Lord impressed upon us the dark reality of Jesus’ death. He was brutally nailed to the rough-hewn wood of the cross. He endured the physical torture of hanging there for hours with each breath becoming increasingly more difficult. More than that, He was crushed by the Father’s punishing wrath against sin—not Jesus’ sin, but yours, mine, and the sin of all mankind. He died and was buried.
If that is where it ended, with a corpse sealed in a tomb, there would be no hope in a cemetery. A visit there would only fuel the fires of fear. But Easter dawned on an empty grave. Jesus had risen! He met death face-to-face and conquered it. Because He died for us, His victory is ours. Because He lives, we live in Him. Because He rose from the grave in glory, all who believe in Him will rise with glorified bodies to live with Him forever.
That makes a visit to a cemetery a completely different experience. Instead of seeing only death and feeling nothing but loss, we are reminded that just as the grave could not hold the Savior, so those graves of our fellow believers and ours, as well, will be empty one day.
Tomorrow we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection from the dead and praise Him for the forgiveness and eternal life He has given us. Remember Easter and you will have real hope, even in a cemetery.
Our Easter Song Service begins at 8:30 tomorrow morning, followed by a brunch prepared by the men of the congregation. All are welcome. Do you have friends or neighbors without a church home whom you could invite to join us?
Also, please remember to bring any food items you signed up for.
In anticipation of Easter joy,