I was there. Really.
I saw Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome when they came to Jesus’ grave and discovered that he was not there. Really. I did.
I saw the sadness in their eyes turn to shock and fear, then to joy and celebration. I promise.
I saw Peter and the others dashing up the path. They looked inside the empty tomb in amazement and disbelief. I’m not kidding. I was there.
I watched as all of them ran away from the tomb and disappear into the chilly, mystifying dawn.
How is that possible? You ask.
The Atlanta Passion Play concluded a 35-year run last Sunday at the Civic Center in downtown Atlanta. The APP, as they called it, drew thousands of visitors from all over the world during the play’s lifetime. In its heyday it was among the top few passion plays in the world, comparable to the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany.
I only participated in the production four times. One of those times I got to play one of the men in white at the empty tomb on Resurrection Sunday. I saw everything. This Easter Sunday I am remembering that part and my lines and it still gives me chills. A lump rises in my throat. I played the angel of the Lord who said, “Don’t be afraid. Why are yoou looking for Jesus? He is not here. He is risen. Just like He said He would. Come see for yourselves. Now go tell Peter and the disciples.”
When I appeared in the door of the tomb the audiences cheered. Not because of me, of course, but for the moment in history those lines represented. They enhanced my appearing with bright lights and smoke. Jesus is risen. I announced it to the first visitors to the tomb, to the world, actually, and the world will never be the same again. How blessed I was to have been there. How fortunate I was that they chose me to speak those lines and impact those audiences and call attention to the resurrection in that way. I still choke up thinking about it today.
As I ponder the awe and wonder of this glorious Resurrection Day I think of the privilege I had to speak that angel’s lines that changed the world. I felt like I was really there. It was real to me. That scene in the performance made the Resurrection come alive for me as never before. And I’ll never think about the Resurrection the same again.
But you were there too!
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. And the life I live in the flesh I live in the Son of God who loved me and gave His life for me.
And Paul teaches us in Ephesians, “because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. 2:4-6.
All of us who claim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior were there at the tomb in Resurrection day. We were crucified, buried, cleansed as white as snow, forgiven and glorified with Jesus and in His strong name.
If you’re reading this and don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you can know him now. All it takes is a few simple confessions. If you’ll repeat these words, and more importantly believe them, God will transform you immediately from the darkness of this world into His glorious light. And you will have eternal life.
Read this prayer to yourself:
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness. I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin. You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, now I am saved.
Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore, Lord Jesus, transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
You are now a child of God. A child of the King. You will NEVER die, and you will live in Heaven for eternity with God and all the rest of the ones He loves to call His children.
I recommend that you immediately look for a Bible-believing church and ask the pastor if he will disciple you in the Word of God and the Christian faith. Your life has changed forever! Amen!