As I was driving to Easter services this morning, I passed a cemetery. It started me thinking about our culture’s popular reaction to cemeteries. Graveyards are supposed to be kind of spooky places we wouldn't want to be stuck in at night. But this morning I looked at the cemetery with new eyes. You see, the very first Easter was celebrated in a cemetery. Jesus appeared to Mary there. John and Peter saw the empty tomb there. And I thought to myself, “cemeteries are really paper tigers for the Christian.” It looks like it’s the end, but we know that death is swallowed up in victory. A graveyard could not hold Jesus and it cannot hold any of His children. So we read “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
Tomorrow, most of the world will go back to work, back to their daily lives. They will once again think of cemeteries as places to dread. But we know better. Death is the ultimate threat against a person, and if death cannot hold the Christian, then how can it be fearful? However, not all of those graves will be opened to victory, as many who will fall do not know the risen Jesus. So, when you go back to work, dear Christian, think of the graveyards – and seek to widen the victory Christ has already obtained by sharing it with others. To the Corinthians Paul said “I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” Let us take this message beyond Easter. Let your friends and loved ones know that we celebrate our most holy day by looking to a graveyard.; We do so because we know it is to us only a paper tiger. It can be for them, too.
Image courtesy Parrot of Doom (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL]
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