"Oh. Man, I wish I could go back in time. I'd take state." (Uncle Rico - Napoleon Dynamite )
OK, so maybe I am just a little like Uncle Rico. Not that I would throw steak and stare at my biceps all day (AS IF I had biceps...)-but I would like a time machine. Not the one from "the internet" that they had of course, but one that actually worked. Can you imagine? And unlike Uncle Rico, I wouldn't use it to go back and take state or whatever. No, my designs would be much more grand...like scoring future lottery numbers so I could come back and...give it to the church and Dare 2 Share Ministries of course!
Or maybe I would find out who wins the next 20 Super Bowls so I could become known as an uber-sports genius to my family and friends. I could also go back in time to double check and make sure that third grade teacher I had really was as sadistic and psychotic as I remember.
Oh! Oh! I could even go back and witness my own birth!
On second thought...ewww!
There is one trip I know for sure I would take. It was the greatest day in history when an event happened that much of the world doubts...so I would grab my camcorder, head back nearly 2000 years to Jerusalem where three empty scenes took place.
Three empty scenes? What am I talking about? Glad you asked! Hit the record button and read on...
Scene One: The Empty Cross
It is early morning just before dawn. As we stare off in the distance just outside the city we see a gruesome reminder of the events of just a few days ago. Do you see it? Over there, sharply outlined by the glow of the early morning sky there are three crosses. Maybe that's an ordinary scene to the locals, but you take special notice of the one in the middle. As you zoom in on it, you see that the wood is soaked from top to bottom with blood from the inhuman treatment Jesus endured...for you...for me.
But the cross is empty, which proves that Jesus was dead. Why? Because the Roman soldiers made sure of it. They were not allowed to take someone down who wasn't dead, and since they were professional killers, I highly doubt they would have made a mistake-and just to make sure they didn't make a mistake:
One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. (John 19:34)
Medical science has discovered that after an excruciating death, blood plasma can separate from the cells. So when Jesus' side was ruptured by the spear, a blood and water mixture would have gushed out. Which is exactly what happened.
Scene Rwo: The Empty Tomb
As we walk away from the hill they call "the Skull," we head over to the graveyard where we see something very unusual. All the graves look normal except this one. As we get closer we notice an enormous stone rolled back from a tomb, and on top of the stone sits a person (?)-only this "person" is clothed in dazzling white garments and glows like lightning. You hear him proclaiming something very loudly:
He is not here; he has risen! (Luke 24:6)
As you swing the camera view into the tomb, all you notice is a set of grave clothes that look like the vacated cocoon that has just released a butterfly...but of course you know they just released the living Savior!
Scene Three: The Empty Hearts
The last place you travel is to the city where everything seems normal except for a group of people going on about Jesus coming back from the dead. What strikes you the most is that these were the same folks who just a day ago were hiding in complete fear that they would be associated with Christ. Now they are bold as lions and willing to risk their lives for Him. They want to empty their hearts of the message of hope and forgiveness that became a reality when Jesus came back from the dead.
And hopefully you do too, because you have something better than the resurrection of Jesus captured on tape...you have it captured within the pages of Scripture! You know He came back because you know God's Word is truth...and let's face it-life just doesn't make sense without the empty cross and the empty tomb.
And that's the truth.
So don't let any well written but whacked out stories like The Da Vinci Code throw you. If you do any research at all, you'll find that their "facts" are about as reasonable and believable as Uncle Rico's time machine. What is reasonable and believable are three words that will be heard for the rest of all time:
Jesus is alive!
The question is...do you care? This Easter season is an awesome opportunity to help people who have never heard the good news to take a trip back through time to the greatest day ever. One of the best ways we can thank Christ for dying on the Cross is to tell others about what happened on that day! As Clarence Hall said:
"If Easter says anything to us today, it says this: You can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. You can nail it to a cross, wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb, but it will rise!"
Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for www.dare2share.org. Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with youth leaders and students, equipping them to be effective in sharing the gospel. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries, please visit www.dare2share.org. Find out how http://www.dare2share.org Dare 2 Share Ministries and Focus on the Family® are working together to capture the hearts of this generation of teenagers, visit www.capturetheirhearts.com. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.