During our Lenten Lunches on the five Tuesdays before Easter, we have been hearing from various folks on what the Cross of Christ means to them. Reflecting on the significance of the Cross in our daily lives is a good thing to do during the season of Lent leading up to Easter. How does the death of Christ impact you and me?
But then comes Easter morn. How does the resurrection of Christ impact me? This is what I want to write about this month in my reflection.
Several years ago, Johnny Cash produced a film on the life of Jesus called “The Gospel Road”. One of the things that I remember from that movie was the emotional impact the news of the resurrection of their Lord had on the disciples. They went from the depths of despair to heights of jubilation in just three days.
Can I be as excited about that news as they were? Can I be as committed as they were to “go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and ev’rywhere” that Jesus Christ is risen and alive today?
We all get excited about Christmas, our families and friends look forward to the holiday, but what about Easter? Shouldn’t we be even more excited about it? No other single event in human history has done more to “turn the world upside down” than the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Many years ago while I was still in college I had a near death experience while whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River in Western Pennsylvania. Five fraternity brothers (healthy, fit wrestlers and football players) went out in April for a little adventure. Only four of us returned after being caught in a whirlpool, known as the “widow maker”, in the middle of a set of rapids. At one point during our fight for survival on the river, I thought I was going to drown and I simply said, “Lord Jesus, I’m yours.”
The next thing I remember I was floating down river head first toward a steep waterfall. Fortunately, I was able to swim to shore before going over the crest. It took me more than four hours to hike through the woods to safety.
We lost a good friend and the quarterback of our college football team that day, and all of us struggled with the true meaning of life. As tragic as this incident was— for drowning victim and survivors— it caused me to ask, “What’s it all about, anyhow?”
Later I came to realize that because Jesus Christ lives, I “can face tomorrow …all fear is gone”. Because He holds the future I know life is worth the living, “just because He lives.”
Rich Pollock is a retired Presbyterian minister. He lives in Topsail Beach with his wife Julia. Both are active affiliates of Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel. Rich happily fills in at the pulpit when a guest minister is unavailable to lead us in Sunday worship.