“She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).” John 20:14-16
Easter: candy, eggs, rabbits, baskets, gross peeps (yeah I said it), fake green grass, amazing mini eggs, empty tombs, and Jesus! There’s a little something for everyone! Well at least we don’t Easter Candy Corn:
I remember as a kid we would play in the streets until the street lights came on. Football, tag, hide and seek, kick ball, ride our bikes, and all kinds of other awesome outdoor games. As the street lights came on, we would all begin to think about going home, but often times we would be having such a great time, we would forget to go home. At that time one by one we would all hear our parents call our name: My Name! I could pick my mother’s call out of a group of mothers yelling names. Even when there were other “Micheals” playing with us in the streets. It was comforting, safe, loving, and demanding all at the same time. My name!
While Easter is about: candy, eggs, rabbits, baskets, gross peeps, fake green grass, amazing mini eggs, and family, it’s also about a whole lot more. None of these things listed are bad things. Actually they are all rather awesome, except peeps, they are just awful!
Easter is about the moment when Jesus called our name. My name, your name, the name of Mary!
It’s the moment Jesus did for us the one thing we could never do ourself. He died so that we can live. He died not only so that we can live in the after life but so that we can live in this life! He also beat the grave and death and rose again! The tomb is empty! You love does not have to be empty. Jesus died for you sins, but rose again so that you may live! The real gospel is often confused with a story about what happens after we die. The real gospel is a story about how the plan is and always will be to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. If you are a Christ follower reading this, read the gospels this week and look for how many times the kingdom of God is talked about. Realize how much Jesus talks about bringing the kingdom of God to earth. You are the kingdom of God with flesh on. Be Jesus to people. They have names and stories. Learn them…..Love them! Jesus rose so that we could live!
If you are a seeker or someone who isn’t sure about this Jesus guy, know this, the gospel is about how Jesus loves you so much, he died for you. He knows you, the real you, everything about you, and he still calls you by name. He does not call you by you worst day or worst mistake, he calls you by name! When we were playing in the streets, our mothers did not call us by our mistakes, but by our name. I am sorry if the story of Jesus has been tainted by programs, lights, fog machines, bad relationships, judgement, bad representations of a living God, a full life in Christ, and other things that may have turned you off to the story of redemption. Know this: Jesus knows you and calls you by name!
My prayer is that Jesus is speaking to you right now, and this Easter would become the day when you hear him call your name! Your Name!
Oh, and that Peeps would go out of business! Yuck!