So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!” John 20:2
“El Cid” is the 1000-year-old story of Rodrigo Diaz, a Spanish knight who almost single-handedly saved the kingdom of Spain from the Moors. The movie itself is based on truth. It spoke the truth when it showed El Cid’s victories. It told the truth when it showed his death and how his generals tried to pretend he was still alive. The movie accurately showed how they dressed his body in armor, strapped him to his horse, and tied a sword into his hand. Then it showed the body of the dead leader, charging out of the gates of the city, leading his men against the enemy.
The movie is quite accurate … up to that point. For then, in a desire for a happy ending, the movie begins to lie, showing the Spanish forces in the lead routing the frightened Moors. But it didn’t happen that way—the dead body fooled no one. The charge failed, and the defeated Spaniards ran away. They found out that a dead man is a poor leader.
In contrast, Christians follow a living Lord. Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus was crucified. Tens of thousands had been crucified before Him, but only Jesus—unexpectedly, unbelievably—came back to life. Because He did, the world is changed. Those who believe on Jesus as their living Lord are confident that death doesn’t have the final word in their lives. Those who put their hope and their futures into the nail-pierced hands of the risen Savior, know they will never be alone, and that nothing in this world can separate them from the love of God which has come to them through Christ Jesus.
Christ is risen! Yes, we know that sort of thing doesn’t happen … can’t happen. But because Jesus was the sinless Son of God, He didn’t have our limitations. Jesus did rise. In the days that followed, Jesus’ friends saw Him, ate with Him, talked with Him, touched Him. Not just once, but numerous times. This, the most wonderful event in the history of the world, cannot be denied. Jesus lives and, because He does, we know we follow a living Lord. This is the truth that has changed the world and, I pray, your life.
THE PRAYER: Risen Lord, open my eyes to all of your blessings today, so that my heart may overflow with thanksgiving. My hope and future rest safely in Your nail-pierced hands, and I rejoice in the knowledge that nothing in this world can separate me from the love of my living Lord. Amen.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on April 20, 2003
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