April 01, 2018

He Is Not Here!

Mark 16:1-8

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.”

—  Mark 16:6

In many nations, April 1 is celebrated as April Fool’s Day—a time for playing practical jokes on friends and unsuspecting individuals.

This year, April 1 is also Easter Sunday, and although the celebration of Easter is no joke, it is certainly full of joy! What we celebrate and remember today lies at the heart of who we are as followers of Jesus Christ.

Easter, Resurrection Sunday, is the day when Christians everywhere exclaim with joy and authority, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”

But if we were to put ourselves as characters into that first Easter story, what would our reaction be to finding an empty tomb and a stranger sitting there, telling us not to worry? Would we think it was a cruel practical joke or something very real, powerful, and life changing?

That’s what those first visitors to the tomb had to figure out. And everyone who has ever heard the story of Jesus must do the same. To believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus opens our lives to all the joy, power, freedom, and hope the resurrection has to offer. This is the gospel story. This is life-changing good news!

Will you claim this good news?

Dear Jesus, today we claim you, celebrate you, and proclaim you as the risen Lord. Today and every day, fill us with the hope, power, love, and joy your resurrection offers. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Laurie Zuverink

Laurie Zuverink is an ordained pastor who has served in several capacities of ministry in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. Her work ties into the lives of young people, and her passion is to empower and equip the next generation of servant leaders. Pastor Laurie and her husband, Mark, have three children—one in grad school, one in college, and one in high school. Pastor Laurie enjoys deep conversations, bike rides, exploring the shores of the Great Lakes, and watching well-played soccer.

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