A Grand and Sacred Story
By NMC - March 24, 2016
Posted in Stories from NMC
We tend to think in dates and times. We remember our first day of high school or the day we graduated from college. We remember our first day on the job or the day we had a hard conversation with our boss. We remember first dates and the day we got engaged. We remember our wedding day and the day our first kid was born. We remember birthdays and anniversaries. We remember holidays and special occasions. These are snapshots of a bigger story.
This could be one of the most incredible things about Easter. It’s a snapshot of a grand and sacred story.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light.” He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” The Lord had said to Abram, “…I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.” I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the Lord their God. For their sakes I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors… This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. So Pilate asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.” I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words He breathed His last.*
There is a grand story into which we are invited. It’s one we cannot fully comprehend or grasp in our minds; it’s overwhelming to trace the fingerprints of God throughout time. The stories of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Jeremiah, Caleb, Rahab, Hosea, Esther—they are merely snapshots. This story is one of redemption and restoration spanning across 2,000 years of life and love, feast and famine, war and work.
This week we celebrate Easter, a centerpiece of the mosaic of stories that form our faith. For a moment divine became human, stepped into our shoes, walked the dirt roads that connected us. He did this with love and humility, righteousness and holiness. He did this to write another piece of a story that would lead to the salvation of billions of people.
But very early on Sunday morning, the women went to the tomb…They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. My righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day…There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.**
Isn’t it incredible, this story into which we’ve been invited? We’ve done nothing to deserve our place at the table, yet that empty tomb was not just for the women who found it or the disciples who were with Jesus. It was for His glory and the good of the world.
This weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, may we celebrate the grand story we get to be part of. May we celebrate the creation story, the reality that our Father created with such intentionality and design. May we celebrate the covenant God created thousands of years ago and the faithfulness He showed to His people. May we celebrate the ways God has walked through life with billions of people throughout history. May we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the miracle of fitting something so divine into something so human. May we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, a tangible reminder of God’s sacrifice and our deep dependence on Him. May we celebrate His death and remember the faith required of Him to walk down that dark road. And may we celebrate the empty tomb and our all-powerful and loving Father.
Let’s celebrate this grand and sacred story.
*Genesis 1:1, 3; Luke 22:19; Genesis 12:1-2; Leviticus 26: 44b-45a; Luke 22:20; Luke 23:3; Jeremiah 31:33; Luke 23:46
** Luke 24:1-3; Isaiah 53:11; Luke 24:47