What you can hear at Easter

I stepped from the dining room this past Saturday and paused a moment to take in the sounds of my family gathered there who sometimes talk all at the same time—laughter and joy filled the house.

At our outdoor sunrise service, Jerry asked us to pause a moment and listen to the birdsong as the world woke on Easter morning. As our fellowship sang “He is Lord” the music carried on the air to parts unknown to us, but maybe some listening ear caught it and heard for the first time the news, “He has risen from the dead, and He is Lord.”

Later, our hearts thrilled at the affirmative answers as several responded to the question before every baptism, “Do you repent of your sin, turn to Jesus Christ, and confess him as Your Lord and Savior?”

But the most memorable sound is one I have heard only in my imagination. It comes from this verse, “There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it” (Matthew 28:2).

On that first Easter, a heavenly being appeared after the shifting of tectonic plates along a fault line and moved the stone that sealed the tomb. I imagine the shifting and scraping, as the heavy boulder vacated its resting spot. And with its movement, eternity for us shifted as well. That empty tomb validated the message Jesus had spoken to them earlier while at the base of Mt. Hermon in Caesarea Philippi. Just as he said, He had been killed, but on the third day He had arisen. Because of that, he transcended death and secured new life, and a spot in heaven for all those who put their trust in Him.

That shifting stone is the reason for the joy that surrounded us this past Easter weekend. Beneath the laughter, the birdsong, the music, and the sweet yesses of confession as Jesus as Lord, I hear that stone being rolled away—the reason for our celebration.

And if you do not have reason to celebrate today, know that his arms are wide open to you. Confess and repent of your sins. Ask him into your life, and you too may experience the joy of Easter morning.

He is risen indeed.