|empty tomb image found at: http://heavenlysprings.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/empty_tomb.jpg|
Today's guest blogger is Rev. Dave Wilkinson. He is a deacon at First United Methodist Church in Green Bay, Wisconsin and is the founder and editor of an inspirational e-mail ministry and blog called “SOUND BITES: Something to Chew on That Is Good for the Soul.” It was begun in memory of his son, Dustin, on the first anniversary of his death. You can follow SOUND BITES Ministry™at their blog:
On Good Friday in 1998 my wife and I buried our son, Dustin. He had died at the age of 16 as a result of a brain tumor. His cremains were placed in the ground and we began our grief journey. No parent should have to go through that experience. The death of a loved one or close friend is hard enough. The death of a child is a pain like no other. So I had some sense that day of what the followers of Jesus must have felt. On the first Good Friday they buried Jesus in a tomb, sealed it shut, and began their grief journey. I can imagine that Saturday for the Christ-followers was a day filled with grief, bewilderment, hopelessness, numbness, and quiet conversation.
Fast forward, then, to January, 2009. I found myself leading a worship service at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. We stood there in the beautiful surroundings with other Christ-followers from around the world. Our group pulled aside to spend some time in reflection prior to receiving communion. I shared with them some of the feelings the disciples must have felt on that Saturday. I explained that that particular day, January 21, was our son Dustin’s birthday and I shared some of his story with them.
I also shared that as Christ-followers we do not need to spend our time in the grief of the “Saturdays.” Instead, we 21st century pilgrims, just as the 1st century disciples, found the tomb empty. “He is not here. He is risen,” declared the sign at the empty tomb. He is risen indeed! And we can live in the grace and hope of Easter Sunday because Christ overcame the grave. He overcame the grave so that we might live… so that you and I might live… so that my son might live.
1 Corinthians 15:54b-57 reminds us: “‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Where do you find that you dwell most of the time? In the sorrow of Friday, in the hopelessness of Saturday, or in the victory of Sunday. Because I trust in Christ, I choose to live in Sunday.
The greatest love that anyone could ever know
That overcame the cross and grave to find my soul
And 'til I see You face to face and grace amazing takes me home
I'll trust in You
(from “Till I See You” by Hillsong)