July 30, 2008
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. Mark 16:6b
Most of you don't know Dean Twedt.
Dean works at Business Learning Clinic in Blairsville, Georgia, and like you, Dean is a regular reader of the Daily Devotions.
Not so long ago, Dean sent me a photograph he had taken. It was a beautiful picture, and I was pleased to receive it.
The beauty of the picture was enhanced by Dean's explanation. This is what he said: "In front of our office an Easter lily is growing. Note that immediately below the lily is poison ivy." Dean concluded, "One could work this into a sermon...(on) good and evil."
Dean is right, and I thank him for thinking the Daily Devotion was worthy of his picture and his trust.
Almost 2,000 years ago, some women stood in front of an empty tomb and wondered what had happened to the Man who had been buried there.
On that day, the Lord's angel surprised them by saying, "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen. He is not here. See the place where they laid Him."
What wonderful, transforming good news! The Son of God broke death's stranglehold, defeated the devil, and shot down sin.
The short message of the angel is that God's transforming good news changes our world. This message moves all who know Jesus as their Savior from the realm of damnation to the fellowship of the delivered.
Indeed, God's news is so good; it would be foolish to think the forces of darkness would let it be proclaimed without continuous confrontation or constant contestation. Like the poison ivy that surrounds and potentially spoils the beauty of Dean's Easter lily, so the devil and this world do their best to keep souls from the beauty and salvation of the Savior.
They laugh at the Word; they persecute Christ's family; they subtly seduce those for whom the Savior sacrificed Himself. In spite of all they do, the beauty of the risen Savior still blooms in the hearts of Christ's people, and they are saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your sacrifice which changes my world, I offer my thanks and ask that I may look past the poison of this world and see the beauty of Your empty tomb. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries