An Encouraging Word

The power of Easter

By HOWARD COOP

It was, indeed, an awesome moment, and for me, it was a powerful reminder of the significance of Easter. The observance of Easter will never be the same for me. 

Near the end of an exciting day in that land called Holy, I stooped low and slowly stepped into an empty tomb that is located just outside the wall of old Jerusalem. That tomb may be the actual tomb of Jesus. All references in the Gospels lead to that conclusion. After that unique experience, I stood with my head bowed, and in complete silence, I thought about what I had seen and felt during that overwhelming experience.

In that awesome place and in that reverential moment, I imagined myself standing in the same place where Mary of Magdala stood on that first Easter morning, with spices that had been prepared, when she looked at the tomb of Jesus and saw that the stone that sealed it had been rolled away from the entrance. To her amazement, the tomb was empty, and the body she had come to anoint for final burial was not there. Then, she saw someone standing nearby, a man she thought was the gardened. In utter distress, she cried out, “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.” The man she thought was the gardener, calling her by name, said, “Mary.” At once, she recognized who he was! It was Jesus! And she knew her Lord was alive! He said, “Go…to my brothers and tell them…” Mary obeyed. At once, “she went to the disciples with the good new” and said, “I have seen the Lord!”

Mary was transformed by that experience, and all the disciples, when they heard the news, were transformed. At once, beginning in Jerusalem, they went into “all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” proclaiming that message, “The Lord is risen,” and a little group of “unschooled, ordinary men,” persecuted and some put to death, changed the world with that message.

That’s the power of Easter!