He’s ALIVE – But are They?

 This week, I just had to share a post by my husband, Phil.  He recounts here a  real life-and-death experience that shook up his experience of Easter.  This story really gripped my heart and helped me refocus on God during this season of Lent.  I hope you find it both challenging and encouraging as well.

by Phil Sommerville

I’d just seen two beautiful college co-eds get killed.  I was helping to lead a bicycle tour along the sunny coast of Florida during Spring Break.  Only this day wasn’t sunny.  We were riding in the rain and feeling miserable. It was the day before Easter, the final day of the tour, and we were trying to get to our finish point. 

Ahead of me were two college co-eds riding side-by-side.  The girl on the right started to drift into the girl next to her.  They both got tangled up and started to veer towards the center of the road.  At the same time, a pickup pulling a camper was starting to pass them.  I watched helplessly as the two girls fell between the truck and trailer.  The car swerved off the other side of the road leaving the two girls sprawled on the asphalt.  I had just witnessed them get run over.

In a flash I leapt off my bike and sprinted across the road, certain that they were dead.  But when I got to their side, they were both sobbing.  THEY’RE ALIVE!  I cannot begin to express the feelings of relief and excitement that surged through me at that moment.  I’ll never forget it.

A few hours later, after all the excitement had worn off, I thought about Easter – the next morning – and realized, that’s how it feels.  HE’S ALIVE!

The girl’s lives were saved because the corner of the step that came out from the camper door had caught the one girl’s T-shirts and dragged both of them along preventing them from going under the wheels of the trailer.  That was a miracle. 

An even bigger miracle happened on Easter.  Can you capture the feeling of that miracle? Do you remember the first time Easter became real to you?  I’m not talking about when you first heard about it, or when you first understood it.  I’m talking about when you first felt it; when you first grasped in your heart as well as in your head. 

It is my conviction that when people grasp in their heart the excruciating torture Jesus put himself through to free us of sin, suddenly they take their own sin more seriously and become more desperate to rid themselves of it. 

Then, when they grasp the resurrection and realize HE IS ALIVE and that  they are ALIVE with Him, they nearly explode with excitement. 

When people are able to feel what happened over the 72 hours of Easter, they fall in love with Christ and are motivated to follow and serve Him with all their heart, mind and strength.

In this month leading up to Easter, I urge you to think about the first time you experienced the power of Easter.  Sense again the weight of sin.  Allow yourself to reflect on the horror of the cross.  As a disciple, what would it feel like to know Jesus – your hero – was DEAD!  Until you feel those things, you will never really get excited about Easter.  But once you feel those things, Easter will be thrilling and your thrill will become contagious!

So, this Easter season, I urge you to capture the feeling of Easter.  See what it will do to increase your love for Jesus, and your love for those for whom Jesus died and desperately wants to resurrect.

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