From the Pastor’s Heart

Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
John 20:4

Recently while looking for some new Bible study material, I stumbled upon a video that made me pause for a while. It is a video of a skit portrayed by two men enacting the first Easter morning. In this skit, Peter and
John are running to the empty tomb. Their faces display the anticipation and perhaps even a bit of fear concerning what they might find. John reaches the tomb first, but he won’t look inside or enter. Peter then
arrives, huffing and puffing, but he enters the tomb without stopping to think. As I replay this video in my mind, this is the point where I had to hit the pause button.

I wondered to myself, if I had been the first disciple to receive the reports from the women, would I be bold enough to charge into Christ’s tomb? Even as I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was beaten, whipped and crucified, would I have the where with all to enter the tomb where they laid his body? Thinking about that, I finally decided yes, I would. Having walked with Jesus for three years as a disciple, witnessing so many miraculous events, and having come to expect that Jesus is who he says he is; I would have to go into the tomb.

I suppose the question I have for you is much the same. If someone came to you all excited and out of breath telling you they had seen Jesus and he is very much alive, you would run to the tomb to see for yourself? Would this amazing news of Christ’s resurrection stir your emotions so deeply that you would have to personally witness it? I suspect that it would. I suspect that given such extraordinary news, you too would run to the tomb of Jesus, probably because of the same reason Peter and John did, as disciples of Christ, our hope rests entirely in his death and resurrection.

Through Holy Scripture, worship and prayer, we are witnesses to the many amazing miracles of Jesus. Following Jesus throughout his mission and ministry, we too have come to know Jesus as Messiah and Lord, through whom we have forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life. Throughout the past twelve months, since Easter of last year, I pray that in my preaching, you have heard this gospel truth that is for all who believe in Christ.

At the conclusion of the video I mentioned, Peter finally emerges from the tomb to meet John who is still standing outside. As he holds the burial
garments of Christ in his hands, Peter can only look at John with a stare of complete amazement. As the two disciples take in the meaning of what they have witnessed, they both burst into laughter while shedding tears of joy. Jesus is alive! He is risen! It happened just as he said it would!

People of God, I invite you to hear the good news of Jesus’ resurrection once more. I invite you to run to the tomb, charge right in and behold the glory of God in the resurrection of our Lord. It happened just the way Jesus said it would. Come be a part of the Easter story. Share the good news of Christ Jesus. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Grace and peace,
Pastor David Nuottila