Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"My Third Day"

Luke 13.32 New Century Version

“Jesus said to them, ‘Go tell that fox Herod, “Today and tomorrow I am forcing demons out and healing people. Then, on the third day, I will reach my goal.” ’ ”

Unless you are over 100 years old, you never saw an Easter as early as the one we had in 2008. The last time we had Easter on a March 23rd was in 1913. Most of you weren’t around then, and none of you will be here in 215 years to witness the next March 23rd Resurrection Day, 2228.

Most western Christians follow the traditional dating of Easter based on the lunar calendar. This 4th century tradition places Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring equinox or the first day of Spring. The first day of Spring 2008 was Thursday, March 20th. A full moon occurred the very next day (Good Friday) making Easter happen earlier in the 2008 calendar year than you will ever see again. Easter may have seemed early two years ago but, according to Catherine Donaldson-Evans, “It could be worse. In 1818, Easter arrived on the earliest possible day: March 22.“[1]

Easter 2008 was doubly meaningful to me because on March 23rd, 1996, 20 years ago tomorrow, my wife and I were happily married. By God’s grace (and Adonica’s forbearance), we remained happily married until the day she died 19 1/2 years later on August 30th, 2015. I miss her more than I can describe. Tomorrow may be a tough day. 

Jesus Christ described the first Easter as “the third day”. On that historic, singular event, Jesus fulfilled His promise: “I will reach my goal”. Nothing deterred the Son of God from His mission. No amount of resistance, persecution, or suffering could stop this man. Not even death prevented Christ from attaining His “goal” on “the third day”, when Jesus rose from the dead.

This temporal life is only a dress rehearsal for the real performance scheduled for “the third day”. Adonica experienced her “third day” nearly 7 months ago. My personal Easter debut may happen sooner than I think. Like Jesus and Adonica, I must die to get there. When the curtain rises on my “the third day”, will I be ready?
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[1] "The Easter Bunny Comes Early this Year -- But Why?", by Catherine Donaldson-Evans, Fox News, Tuesday, March 18, 2008, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,339051,00.html.

The "Third Day" logo above came from Family Life Church.

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