It was a morning like this
By Paul Klassen
O God our Father and Christ Jesus our Savior, we come to your throne in awe. How can we express the praise and adoration you deserve? Please accept our prayer this morning even though our words are so limited. Even though our comprehension of all you accomplished through the cross and the resurrection is so far from complete. We offer this prayer with great joy and overwhelming gratitude.
Lord God our Father, it was a morning like this that your presence invaded a sealed tomb where the cold, lifeless body of your beloved Son lay. What a moment of unspeakable joy when you leaned over your Son and breathed your life into him. What a holy reunion. What a joy-filled celebration of love, gladness and victory it must have been.
Outside that tomb the world slept, oblivious to the amazing miracle of love and life. But you wanted the world to know that the debt for sin had been paid in full, and that death had been swallowed up in victory. So you dispatched your holy messengers from heaven to roll back the stone. Now the world could look in and see and know that what Jesus had said was now accomplished.
It was a morning like this that the soldiers who guarded the tomb looked in and saw that it was empty and did not understand or believe. Even today people look at the Easter story—they view the empty tomb—and their minds are unconvinced and their hearts unbelieving and unmoved. Their understanding is darkened, and they are oblivious to the power and love of God.
Others approached the tomb that morning, their hearts broken with grief. They were numbed by disappointment. Their hopes and dreams, once so securely anchored in Jesus, were now utterly devastated. They came to grieve, to show their respect for the one they had come to love and trust.
But something happened at that tomb. It was not just the dawning of a new day; it was the dawning of a new understanding. An understanding that
· light has overcome the darkness.
· the power of God to give life has triumphed over the power of men to take life.
· the love of God is more powerful than the evil of this world.
· death no longer has the final word; God does.
· the wisdom of man cannot be compared to the all-surpassing wisdom of God.
So it was on a morning like this that a miracle of God began to change this world.
It was a morning like this when people began to know that the word of Christ is true and his promises are trustworthy.
It was a morning like this that Satan grasped with new clarity that his power over the world was broken and that his reign was doomed. His power to steal, kill and destroy was broken by the love of the Lamb and not by the cunning power of man.
It was a morning like this that the world began to comprehend the good news that the Lord God lives and reigns. That the penalty of sin is paid in full and forgiveness is now a gift that God offers through Jesus Christ. That we live with hope in a world where death is still a raw reality. We live with confidence because our victorious Lord and Savior now lives within us. We more fully grasp the height and depth of the love of God. People who are captive to sin and broken by its destructive power can be set free by the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.
It is on a morning like this that we gather to worship and adore you for your love demonstrated on the cross and your power made known through the resurrection. So today we sing our praise to you, our God and Savior.
We surrender our lives to the wisdom of your will.
We invite you into our spiritual deadness and brokenness that we might be made fully alive and well through Jesus Christ.
We commit ourselves anew to the mission of sharing the good news of Jesus with all people.
All glory, honor, praise and blessing be to you, our God and Father, to you, Jesus, our Savior and our Lord, and to you, Spirit of the Living God, who has drawn us to the Savior.
Paul Klassen served as pastor of Memorial Road MB Church in Edmond, Okla., for 29 years and prior to that served Emmanuel MB Church in Onida, S.D., for eight years. He retired from the pastorate in 2012 and is currently the chaplain at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) divisional office in Oklahoma City.
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