I was privileged to attend and speak at a women’s conference last weekend. The camp was a Salvation Army encampment/retreat and it was just that – a retreat from the cares of the world. The women attending were from all walks of life, yet shared scars in their lives from others, themselves, and, sadly, some from the church itself. What started on a Friday, ended with amazing changes by Sunday.
I cried as I heard their stories of childhood abuse, personal loss by murder and mayhem, addiction and substance abuse. Some were spurned by their own families or the church they were attending. Fear of the judgment they would inevitably receive turned them away from a relationship with God himself. I sat silently shaking my head as I thought, “who are we to judge and when will we ever learn?”
That three-day weekend reminded me of another three days long ago. The “church” thought they had taken care of this problem evangelist. They tried Him, scourged Him, beat Him, and made Him carry his own cross up a hill. They stripped Him, nailed Him, mocked Him, and gave Him gaul to quench His thirst. Yes, they thought they had won when He took His last breath on the cross. But they were wrong.
It was quiet over that weekend. Then on Sunday morning the grave stone rolled away and He was gone. Just as He said, death could not defeat Him. He arose!
For ages men have tried to deny Him, defeat Him, and prove He isn’t real. But in so doing, their eyes have been opened to the undeniable truth and they acknowledge and begin to profess that Jesus is as He said – the Messiah and Son of God.
As we celebrate the resurrection this Easter, who will you say He is?
Matthew 28:6 “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”