Thursday, April 5, 2012

EASTER: some of the players

It fascinates me to take a look at the events we find in the Bible and to learn from the players.  Easter is one of those great places in time that gives us a look into the lives that Jesus touched. 

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.

Jesus met people where they were to help them go where He was going.  And Jesus is still doing the same thing, but now He uses you and me to spread the truth, to share His love and to shout the good news.

Here are some of the players from Easter that we might not think about very often:

Malchus arrived on the scene in John 18:10.  He was one of the men who came to arrest Jesus, but Peter in his zealous, passionate expression of commitment to Jesus picked up his sword and cut off Malchus’ ear.  What wasn’t expected was the fact of Luke 22:51 where Jesus healed and completely restored Malchus’ ear.  We don’t know what happened to Malchus’ after this, but I believe His life must have been changed after his encounter with Jesus.

Pilate’s wife sent a message to her husband as he was the judge when Jesus was being accused.  Find this in Matthew 27:19.  This may have been common for their relationship, but in the culture of their day women were to be quiet and say almost nothing.  This verse says that she was troubled the night before about Jesus.  I wonder what she believed or knew about Jesus?  Her life must have been changed.

The Roman officer overseeing Jesus’ crucifixion made a statement we see in Luke 23:47.  He declared that Jesus was innocent and even the Son of God.  This man has been portrayed in movies and in stories of Easter for years, but what was it that changed his mind about Jesus?  Maybe it was the things that Jesus did while on the cross.  Maybe it was the people standing around the cross who agonized about the situation.  This man must have influenced many others.

John is Jesus’ half brother, and in John 19:26-27 Jesus points his brother to his mother to care for each other.  We know much about John as he shows up in the story of our Savior and His life from beginning to end.  What we don’t know much about is their family relationship.  Families were tight in that culture much like they are in south, and what Jesus said spoke volumes.  God intends for us to care for one another especially in the most difficult of times.  John was an important part of Jesus’ family.

Malchus, Pilate’s wife, the Roman officer and John are only four players in the Easter story, but each teaches us valuable lessons about Jesus.  Jesus was a liar, a lunatic or the Lord.  People have to decide for themselves.  By looking on the Easter story we are taught much.  Getting involved in the story might just change our lives.

Who can I interact with this Easter that might be changed by the grace of God?  You are a player in the Easter story too.  No, we were not at the cross or at the tomb that is empty.  But we’ve been changed by the truth of Easter.  By our conversations with people or our inviting others to church, we might just help someone else be changed by God and become a player in the Easter story personally.  That is my prayer!

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happy birthday, Julie

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