“the rest of the story…”

March 24, 2008

my mom used to listen to paul harvey… and i hated it. but the man is famous for saying in his annoying nostalgic voice, “and that’s the rest of the story.” so here it is. the rest of it.we last left the story with the death of Jesus on a cross. this dude joseph had space in his cemetery and asked pilate for Jesus’ body to be placed there. his request was granted, but some folks suggested that a massive stone be rolled in front of the tomb opening on the chance that Jesus’ followers come and steal His body, claiming that He came back to life. so it was done. and guards were posted at the tomb door too. and Jesus laid there, completely dead for 3 days.

BUT! early early on the 3rd day, while it was still dark outside, mary, one of Jesus’ best friends, and some other women went to visit the tomb. upon arrival she saw that the stone had been rolled away. so she immediately ran back to tell Jesus’ other friends that someone had taken His body. they all ran back to the tomb together and saw that the stone was gone and that the cloths that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body were laying there, but He was not. so they went back home, sadly. mary stayed behind and cried. when she looked into the tomb, there were two men dressed in white sitting in the tomb. they asked why she was crying. she replied that people had taken her Lord away. then she turned around and saw another man standing there. she thought He was the gardener. He also asked why she was crying, and who she was looking for. she begged Him to tell her where Jesus’ body was and she would go get him. then He said her name. and she knew who it was. it was Jesus. He had actually risen from the dead!

He spent the next days appearing to the disciples and certain other people. He spent precious few days with the people He was closest to, and then He was lifted up into the sky and went to heaven. before He left He encouraged His friends. He promised that Someone Else, the Holy Spirit, would come to stay with them and empower them. and then He went to heaven.

i know this stuff sounds like a fairy tale. and as i write it, honestly, i’m asking myself if i really believe a story like this.  i don’t think i would if it weren’t for the relationship i currently have with Jesus, Himself. because it sounds crazy, but i have an active relationship with Him. and you can’t have an active relationship with a dead man. so yes, i do believe that this happened. and i believe with all my heart, that it is the only reason i am alive. and it’s the only reason worth living for. believe me, i’ve had moments when i’ve had to search for something worth living for. and He’s the only thing that has been consistent.

it’s funny to me that mary knew who Jesus was right when He said her name. there have been so many times that i haven’t been able to see Him in my life, but the moment He says my name, i just know. so go looking for Him. ask about Him. even if it’s just to find out what’s true and what’s not. and even when you’re looking Him in the face and can’t see Him, listen. because i have absolute faith that He will say your name too. and when He does, you’ll just know. sounds funny i know. sounds a little cheesy and dumb probably. but i can’t explain it any better than that.  


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