My mother was a high school English teacher. Because of that, each year she drew the assignment of directing the senior play.
One day, she returned home from play practice thoroughly frustrated. She said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do with John. He gets into the role of his character so much that he will not stick to the script. He just starts saying different things so that the other people in the play never know when they are supposed to speak their lines.”
Something like that happened in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. The enemies of Jesus had everything planned. They would arrange to have Jesus crucified on a cross, and that would be the end of His life and His influence. The only problem was that God would not stick to their script.
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took His body down and prepared it for burial in Joseph’s new tomb in a nearby garden. After the burial, a huge stone was rolled to the door of the tomb, and the enemies of Jesus had the stone sealed to make sure that no one tampered with the body of Jesus.
The only problem was that the stone was not heavy enough nor the seal secure enough to keep God from rolling it away and resurrecting His Son from the grave. What had been planned by the enemies of Jesus to be the final act of the play turned out to be only the beginning. The resurrected Lord appeared to His followers and sent them out to transform the world with the good news of His resurrection.
The late Grady Nutt was a minister and Christian comedian. He told about a rambunctious little boy named Marty who lived near him. In Marty’s backyard, there was a forsythia bush that produced its beautiful yellow flowers in the spring but whose stems grew hard and stiff with what Nutt called “a certain switch-like quality.” Marty’s mother took advantage of these ready-made switches throughout the year. As a result of this, Marty despised the forsythia bush.
Then, one year just before Easter, Marty interrupted his mother as she was hard at work. He said that he wanted to show her something in the backyard. When he finally convinced her to come with him, he carried her out to the forsythia bush, which was just beginning to bloom. He said “Mother, look. There are flowers blooming on all the switches.”
Something like that happened in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. In a place of suffering and death, a flower bloomed. And because of the resurrection of Christ from a grave in sight of a cross, the world has never been the same. This Sunday we will celebrate what happened there and offer our thanksgiving to God for the resurrection!
LYNN JONES is a retired pastor, supply preacher and author who lives in Oxford. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.