One of the biggest social movements in our culture lately has been the movement that seeks to “awaken” people about different offenses that have been going unnoticed, or agreed to by our society. Some of these wrongdoings have been the constant mistreatment of women by men, the culture of violence that pervades many inner cities, the deaths of African-American men by the hand of Law-Enforcement. These are but a few of the different issues that this social movement has attempted to change, the call to people in America today by these different groups is for America to become “awoke”, to wake up to the things that have been going on and address them. For Christians, folks who have been radically changed in heart and spirit, becoming “awoke” was how their eyes were finally open; not just to these issues, but to the wider broader issue of sin in the world. The world became “awoke” on a Sunday morning over 2000 years ago, the Sun rose over Palestine on that day and a woman, walked to the tomb of her friend and Rabbi wanting to anoint him with spices. She found the tomb empty, she found Jesus alive and awake! Later hearing about this, two of Jesus’ disciples run to the tomb in disbelief, they were “awoke” by a woman to go there. Each ran to the tomb, but John arrives first, the young John outran older Peter. John looks inside, the linen is folded neatly, it is as if Jesus went through the burial cloths to become alive! Simon Peter sees the same, and he is “awoke” he believes! John sees the empty tomb and believes, he is Awakened!
The time before the resurrection had been depressing for the disciples, they had lost their leader in the ultimate shame, death on a Roman cross. Hiding from the authorities was the only answer, they were sleeping, unaware or not thinking about what Jesus had told them, that He would return. Becoming awake on Sunday morning, everything seemed to change. The world would never be the same, it had been awakened, the tombs in Jerusalem opened and people recently resurrected walked the streets (Matt. 27:52-53). The awakening had begun, and the world was “awoke”. Today the world is sleeping still, dead men and women walk the earth raising their hands in defiance against society, but the answers they seek can’t be found. The answer was given a long time ago, in a brand-new tomb that had been given to a penniless leader of a small band of men and women. The answer startled the world, it jolted the world, so much so that a hardened Roman Centurion declared for all the world to hear, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39) The world became “awoke” when Jesus Christ defied the world’s culture and societies, when Jesus refused to accept the way things were, and when Jesus willingly accepted the Cross. His death was payment for my sin, your sin, he took it willingly without hesitation. Three days later the world awakes to the most wonderful, unbelievable awakening it had ever witnessed. Jesus is Alive! You are awoken, lift your dead eyes to Christ and see for the first time. All the issues that we face in society today must be changed, but the first thing that must be done is a change in our own hearts and souls; that can only come through the mercy and grace of the Savior who shook the world awake on a Sunday morning. Awaken and believe, look into the Tomb and open your eyes for the first time and see the life that God has for you!
May you all be blessed with the grace and peace of the one who brought us out of death to life, Happy Easter! Jesus is Alive!!