“Why do you seek the Living One among the dead?  He is not here, but HE IS RISEN” {Luke 24:5-6}

As a young boy growing up in the midlands of Ireland. Easter meant many things, the new suit I had to wear that felt awkward for this big day, but the benefits of the deep pockets in those short pants pockets that could hold money that people were apt to give to children who had made their “first communion” – which is a Roman Catholic teaching, which I would not hold today based on 1 Corinthians 11:23-27.

But as a child Easter meant not only a chance to make some money but what about those chocolate bunnies and some of them filled with candy or sweets. Easter meant time of school there seemed to be so many benefits. The only drawback for me seemed to be the amount of processions you had to walk in but that was not too bad as long as you could benefit through what I have mentioned. For many Easter is a time for moms and dads to have their children all decked out in new dress’s, suits, and not to mention their own selves. It is a time of year when often people who would not darken a door feel a “moral duty” to attend, after all it is supposed to represent the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead- and it’s a good thing to go and celebrate such an occasion. Somewhere in the midst of the Easter bunny and egg hunts and little boys making money and processions there seems to be something missing, no dear friend there is SOMEONE MISSING- namely THE LORD JESUS CHRIST who through the Resurrection conquered sin, satan and defeated death and made a way for sinful people who would turn and trust in Him alone for Forgiveness alone to receive the gift of Eternal Life and a new standing with God. Not to mention a new relationship with God and joy, peace, forgiveness and to experience the Love of God being poured out into your heart through the Holy Spirit.

The resurrection screams F-R-E-E-D-O-M and GREAT news to those who are bound n sin and separated from God as a result. The Resurrection proclaims God is satisfied with the Perfect Work of His Son ALONE and will accept all who come His Way, in simple repentance and faith. As a young boy I loved to play soccer on the streets or in the fields and goal scorers were in the side to score goals I can remember watching many such and trying to imitate. Imagine if you will a ball being passed to a scorer and instead of kicking the ball into the net he turns and heads the wrong way. What would he have to do? Namely turn completely around- this is a picture of repentance. A Turning away from something and a turning To Someone. We turn from self reliance and sin and then to God and place our trust in the Lord Jesus and what he did on the cross for us bearing our sin and God being satisfied with His perfect sinless life raising Him from the dead and now making away for sinners like you and I to come just as we are and being accepted and forgiven totally just as He promised. But unfortunately Easter is a time of fashion, drink, parades, and miss the point concerning the PERSON- The Resurrected CHRIST!

 I recently read this story,
“Margaret Sangster-Phippin was the daughter of the late great preacher W. E. Sangster of Methodism.

She wrote that in the mid-1950s of her father’s life he began to notice some uneasiness in his throat and a dragging in his leg. When he went to the doctor he found that he had an incurable disease that caused progressive muscular atrophy in his body.

It was debilitating, and his muscles, he was told by the doctor, would gradually waste away. His voice would fail; his throat would soon become unable to swallow. From that day Sangster threw himself into the work of God in the British Home Mission, thinking that he could write and he could use up the time that he was no longer able to preach and go about doing meetings with prayer and with other things that he had wanted to do all of his life. He said this to the Lord: ‘Lord, let me stay in the struggle. I don’t mind if I can no longer be a General, but give me just a Regiment to lead’. And he did it, he wrote articles and he wrote books, and he helped organise prayer cells throughout England.

He said to people whenever they commented upon his suffering: ‘I’m only in the kindergarten of suffering’. Gradually Sangster’s legs became useless, his voice went completely, but he could still hold a pen shakily.

On Easter morning just a few weeks before he died he wrote a letter to his daughter, and in it he said these words, listen carefully: ‘It’s terrible to wake up on Easter morning and have no voice with which to shout ‘He is risen!’, but it would still be more terrible to have a voice and not want to shout it’. Did you get that? It is terrible to a wake up Easter morning and have no voice with which to shout ‘He is risen! But it would still be more terrible to have a voice and not want to shout it. Can we say:

‘Have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way.
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mould me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way.
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ, only always, living in me

This Resurrection Day– the Sadness of Sangsters heart was that the Praises of the resurrection of Jesus Christ would not be shouted out in triumphant respect and awe.

This Resurrection Day- What will it all be about for you? Will it be about waking up and shouting “HE IS RISEN” or will it be about fashions, fads, and failure on your behalf to acknowledge JESUS THE RESURRECTED LORD. We shout with gusto, raise our hands in triumph at a last minute score in an athletic event- Jesus has arose from the bed and we can even say with Gusto and unashamedly “HE IS RAISED”. Perhaps unlike Sangster the problem may just be we have never bowed our knee in true submission to Him who conquered the grave, satan, sin and death. Perhaps this is your time like the soccer player to turn from living for self and turn to God and give Him your self and sin and ask His Son- The Lord Jesus to forgive you and take and change you and place within you a heart to shout “HE IS RISEN” because of what it personally means to you- Sins forgiven, Hell subdued and peace with God.