January 21, 2021

Easter — Resurrection Sunday 2012

The Resurrection, Fra Angelico

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.


He is risen indeed!

❖ ❖ ❖

A blessed Easter to you and yours on this holiest of days.


  1. He is Risen! 🙂

    A Blessed Easter to you and yours…enjoy this most HOLY of holidays!!

  2. A very happy Easter to all!

  3. A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

    Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

    Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:26-29, NIV)

    We are blessed!

  4. He is Risen indeed!! Alleluia!! Alleluia!!

  5. A happy and holy Easter to you all!

    Christ is risen, alleluia, alleluia!
    He is risen indeed, alleluia, alleluia!

  6. Christ is Risen! He is, and ever shall be! Alleluia!

  7. Here’s my Easter… What a day. regular evangelical chruch and a hyper-Calvinist church. In 1 weekend I tied my record of attendance for 2011 combined. Here’s my review…

    Dee & Deb-

    What a day…OMG!! If I see another church I’ll explode. Literally!! I wrote about my experience on Friday at National Community Church. Today included a local evangelical church in the morning and a Sovereign Grace in the late afternoon.

    Here’s my reviews and thought on both.

    First I have the bumper sticker for the following campaign on the back of my Honda.


    So I was really struggling with this. Before I walked into _______ Community Church I sat in the car nervous like you would not believe. “What are you doing here?!?” I asked myself….So being the man that I am 😀 I went. I listened to the sermon, heard the praise and worship and they had a 12 minute video talking about Easter in the bigger picture. What does it mean when you consider the fall of man, and sin entering the world? The pastor compared it to not appreciating Barack Obama as being the first Black American President, if you didn’t understand out history with slavery and the fight for civil rights. He talked about how evil still exists. I got the distinct feeling that he tweaked the end of his sermon for me –almost. Because he started to talk about the issues I discussed with him in person a couple of weeks ago. He talked about how there are some answers no one will know. And that evil along with pain and suffering will still exist. However he can have faith in God because he knows in the end all evil will be judged and that God is just. Now that gave me something to think about… But I still had questions and I still picked it apart in my mind. When I left the pastor saw me and smiled and gave me a hug. He asked me to keep in touch. That felt good….

    When I walked away I had this huge sigh of relief. I was so nervous about the experience. I don’t know why…I just am.

    Next comes the Sovereign Grace at 4:30. 😯

    My friend who asked me to attend 1 SGM service texted me the directions and information for the church. I texted back that I will prepare for a SGM service by reading Sovereign Grace Survivors. That was followed by a (J/K) in which he responded by a text that I better repent for reading Sovereign Grace Survivors. That was followed by a (J/K)

    So I got there a little early. None of you had any idea of how nervous I was about all this. I mean really in knots. I sat in the car and thought about the following:

    1. Happy Mom’s story about spiritual abuse and how sexual abuse was handled at SGM Fairfax.
    2. What the Washington Post wrote about SGM.
    3. What I read on Sovereign Grace Survivors, Refugee, etc..
    4. I thought about how my stomach was in knots, and I thought about past Christian experiences.

    I saw my friend and his wife talking with a couple of people in the parking lot. I really thought about driving away because of how much I was in knots. I left the keys in the ignition. So I intensely internally debated this, and then finally I thought. “Listen he asked you to come to one service…you’ve been through a lot including investigating Mormonism. This will be fine….” So with that I grabbed my NLT (which I didn’t trash BTW…) and went into Redeemer of Arlington.

    I saw my friend patted him on the shoulder. And he was happy I came. I was nervous and I could feel my stomach in my throat. My friend asked me, “Where do you want to sit?” And I joked back…”Well the car would be nice…” And he laughed.

    I said hi and introduced myself to a couple of people. There were some things I was already beginning to observe which made me wonder.

    1. I saw a number of kids about 3 or 4 or 5 wearing full blown suits and running
    around. I then reflected upon that and realized the last time I saw something like that was in the Mormon Church in Montana. I pointed that out to my friend but I was careful to say that SGM is not like Mormonism.
    2. One guy joked with me that I was “pre-destined” to be there. After the service I thought about this…but I kind of get the feelings that many Neo-Calvinists want to have it both ways. They teach about pre-destined. And then they teach about repenting and following God. Well if you are pre-destined you are either in or you’re out. It’s like many want to have the best of both worlds. No can do. And it begs the question from my perspective. If it all boils down to being pre-destined…then all the blogging, reading, listening to stuff, emails, etc.. is all a waste. And I wasted 3 years of my life that I will never get back.
    3. I noticed that a high number of women appeared to be pregnant or have large families. My “sixth sense” ate at me, and I got the feeling that women were not important unless they were chained to the bed popping out at least 6 kids a year. But compared to other evangelical churches I attended this stood out a lot for me. Those of you with SGM experience….am I reading the movement correctly?

    And with that the service started. The praise and worship was not bad actually. I’ve been in a lot of churches over the past 13 years and this had good praise and worship. However it’s also been my experience that charismatic’s have better praise and worship. The Third Wave Church I was a member of in Wisconsin had really good praise and worship also.

    And then something happened that really bothered me. I mean this deeply disturbed me. A guy gave his testimony. He talked about growing up Catholic in Utah (After my experience with Mormonism…I was thinking to myself man that has to be tough because if you are not Mormon in Utah…you can have a hard life.). He talked about his parents divorce, his grandfather dying when he was 11 and his best friend committing suicide. He talked about how he met his wife at 23, had a good job, two kids, etc… and how his world came apart through a divorce in 2010. He talked about how his old boss led him to Christ and encouraged him to attend SGM Redeemer. He closed by talking about how he realized God had tested him when he was younger. This really bothered me immensely. I wrote down the following in the back of my NLT and showed this to my friend.

    “Is God responsible for his friends’ suicide? Did God engineer that to bring this guy to Christ?”

    My friend said let’s talk about this later. It reminded me of what John Piper said about cancer. And I ask the following question.

    Is God testing me because of what my family has endured? Did God orchestrate my Mom’s pancreatic cancer to test my faith in 2005? Did God orchestrate my Dad’s brain tumor to test me or lead me to faith? Did God test my family by having a close family member deal with schizophrenia for 15 years? I mean what this guy was saying sounded really, really sick. If that’s how God operates than I was right to walk away and embrace agnosticism.

    Then there was another thing that I thought about. And this is the result of 12 years of fundagelical experience. Was this guy coached into giving his testimony the way it was delivered? I say this for the following reasons. Starting with my baptism at an Evangelical Free Church in CA, to Campus Crusade for Christ in Wisconsin, to the church I was a member of in WI. Every single testimony that I gave was tweaked, played with, sometimes made a little emotional, etc… At the Evangelical Free Church in CA, they believed Catholicism is a cult. And they wanted me to say that it was a cult, but not publically call Catholicism a cult in case there were Catholics present. They were hoping for evangelism opportunities and for the Catholic to approach me after my baptism and say, “What church was you involved in that was a cult? And then for me to evangelize them. So my question still stands…was this guy coached into what he said? I’m outside the bubble as a former evangelical/agnostic…and my BS detector really goes off with this stuff. Experience in evangelicalism has taught me this.

    The sermon was given by Eric Simmons. He preached from Colossians 3. Since many Neo-Calvinists have what I call “Christless” preaching by emphasizing Paul over Jesus. I took out a pen and started to record how many times Paul was mentioned over Jesus. I lost track because I was hearing other stuff and it also got me thinking. One thing Eric Simmons said was to point out how many lives have been transformed by Christ over the centuries. Look at the people who gave their life to Emperor Nero. Look at the many Christians whose life was transformed to where they would give their life in suffering. I thought to myself..”That’s not true…” I mean consider:

    1. Look at how many Muslims have given their life for God. You have suicide bombers in Iraq, and Afghanistan doing this today. You have the 9-11 terrorists. You have the Muslims who fought in the Crusades, and those who fought when India and Pakistan were being portioned in 1947. I could go on and on about this…
    2. What about the Mormons? How many Mormons died for their faith in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and the Utah territory and the treks in between? What about Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith in the Carthage Jail in Navoo, Illinois?
    3. What about Judaism? There are many Jews who died for their faith. 6 million in World War II alone. And many Jews experience anti-Semitism even in Europe today? Look at the terrorist acts that take place against Jews to this day.

    He actually talked about the idols of the day…sex, money, power, etc.. I was sitting there thinking…Wow…when it comes to power and corruption maybe CJ Mahaeny should listen to one of his own preachers.

    They offered a free gift of Tim Keller’s “Prodigal God”. I didn’t want to leave down my contact information. Then they had communion. After the service I joked with my friend, “Wow…you guys do drink kool-aide” 😀

    And with that I left. There’s other stuff I wanted to say….but I need to get to bed as I’m getting up at 5:00 AM.

    • Radagast says


      …counting how many times Paul was mentioned over Jesus… I’ve done that myself when I’ve had the occasion to be present at a non-denom gathering. My two cents- for what its worth, I think you should also pick a couple of mainlines and see hoew that plays out. Because there are a few of us out here who would like to see that reaction. It seems that the feeling of acceptance and belonging is strong in you and I wonder which fills that need better, non-denom, pentacostal, mainline. From my experience it won’t be Catholic unless you are down south and the church is in an area not known for large Catholic populations.

      Just be careful though of those who will pick up on that tendancy in you and exploit it. Hang in there bro and keep movin’ through that healing cycle.

      Have a joyous Easter season however that translates for you.

  8. I am just so pleased that the good new of Jesus is being told. God Bless you, and may Heaven smile upon you.

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