This evening, after my family departed for Connecticut, Jacob and I took a ride over to the church to return some tables and chairs we had borrowed for dinner. I unlocked the doors and stepped into a quiet room, and was unexpectedly caught in a whirlwind of emotions. I saw the tank we had used for baptisms earlier in the day. I saw the chairs where a few of my invited guests had sat and taken in the whole Easter experience in what was, I’m sure a relatively unfamiliar environment. I saw the stage perfectly laid out with a remarkable and beautiful design. I saw the place where I had a conversation with some old friends who came to visit for the day.
And I realized that without Jesus being alive, it is all as empty as a tomb. There’s no life in that room unless Jesus is alive. Those people who got in the water today know this is true. I know that the few people who caught me afterwards and whispered that they were on the verge of getting in the water today too know that this is true.
I know this is true.
As impossible as resurrection sounds, it was even more impossible for death to hold the author of life.
This was my favorite Easter service in 17 Easters at New Life, and it wasn’t because we had a big crowd, but because of what we celebrated today. At the heart of who we are as a church is this conviction that Jesus is calling all kinds of people to come follow him. He wants people to go “all in” and commit fully to him. And today we got to see the evidence of that mission coming to pass in front of our eyes.
I don’t know if we’ll do baptisms on Easter Sunday again, but today as we visibly demonstrated the story of God bringing life from death, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by joy. Jesus is alive, and he is bringing life to even those who are far from him!