Prologue (from Pastor Rod Parsley):
Why do we tell a story over and over again? Stories are of such importance and are our telescopic view from generation to generation. As kids, we really underestimate these stories until we grow up and realize the sacrifice each generation before us has made. What stories we pass down may be so different, yet have some basic foundations, and one general conclusion can be made: There was often some sort of sacrifice involved.
There is no greater story or greater sacrifice than the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As Joni and I were discussing this subject, she asked, “How could I ever re-write the version of what this means to me, especially the emphasis on those three words?“ I simply answered, “Don’t try a re-write. Just do a re-run.“
There are some stories that need to stay the way they are. So, Joni asked if I’d write a little intro which I’m happy to do given that what she has written about is a true story and a true Savior ... the greatest story ever told.
As He Said. Those three words are perhaps the most powerful in the Bible. I’ve heard many Easter sermons, but my favorite part comes from Matthew 28:6, "He is not here, He is risen…as He said." People and preachers alike get so excited by the phrase, "He is Risen," and I certainly don’t want to understate that, but when I hear, "as He said," it speaks volumes that excite me even more! In Luke’s version in chapter 24, verses 6 and 7, the angels were reminding the women of what He told them in Galilee. I love verse 8, "and they remembered His words." That was all the proof that they needed. There are no accounts that they kept looking in the tomb or looking elsewhere for His body. All versions have the women then leaving to go and report to the apostles. I believe that they knew the words of their Lord were TRUTH - undeniable, inarguable truth! The women (hmm…why were there no men?!) needed no hard facts, or visible evidence - His words were enough! This is the foundation of our faith.
His Word is our Truth. In any given situation, we can apply those three words…As He said. It is our truth and what we can hold onto when there is no visible evidence. We remember His words in the pages of our Bibles, and when we do, we don’t need any other proof! We are healed…as He said. We are delivered…as He said. We have Peace…as He said. We have authority…as He said. We have victory…as He said. We have no fear…as He said. We are loved…as He said. The list can go on and on and on! If He said it then I believe it, and that’s all the proof I need! And yes, I’m preachin’ to myself here!
I know that all of us face circumstances that look and feel hopeless. I can’t imagine how hopeless Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the others felt after they watched the Son of Man, their Savior and the true Messiah, crucified in such a horrific manner. Can you just picture them, with the spices and oils that they had so lovingly prepared, going to the Tomb? I can see teardrops falling into those perfumes as they grieved the loss of their Lord. I’m sure they had to have felt alone, afraid, confused, and a heartache that is beyond description. (Haven’t we felt the very same way?) But when they heard those words, the truth pierced through every hopeless feeling, and faith came when they remembered what He said. I believe it is truly one of the greatest examples of faith in the Bible!
What an example this story is! I am encouraged by it and have a renewed sense of the "blessed assurance" that comes from the words of our Lord. What comfort He gave us in those three words. What trust we can have that He will perform His word as He promised. What a Savior and what a Lord! He is not only risen and alive but He is coming again …as He said!