The women who buried Jesus on Friday returned to visit him early Sunday morning. They brought spices and perfumes to anoint the body. What they found is the substance of Easter hope: no stone in front of the grave, no body within the grave. They found an angel, clothed in white, seated on the stone. “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Mt. 28:6 NKJV).
When they did, they saw the first signs of the resurrection: a vacant slab, an abandoned burial cloth, a folded shroud, and a beaming angel. And, could we examine the empty grave with them, we’d find something else. Languishing in the corner, in the dust, doomed to be sealed and buried forever…your stack of I can’ts.
God buried your I can’ts in the grave of Christ. Every last one of them. You say you can’t forgive someone? You can’t, but with Christ you can. Can’t survive the struggle? You can’t, but with Christ you can. Can’t hang on any longer? Turn to Christ for help. “God’s power is very great for us who believe. That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead” (Eph. 1:19-20 NCV). The same steely, burly force that raised Christ from the dead will turn your “I can’ts” into “I cans”: “I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me the strength” (Phil. 4:13 NCV).
With Christ you can face the struggles of Friday. Set your mind on the joy that awaits you.
With Christ you can endure the silence of Saturday. Be patient. Christ will come.
With Christ you can celebrate on Sunday. The same power that defeated His death will give you life. Have you asked for it? Have you asked God to help you?
He will. He will give you strength in this life and eternal joy in the next. All you need to do is ask him. Make this prayer a part of your Easter celebration.
Without you I can’t solve my problems, remove my sins, or go to Heaven. But with you I can. I ask you to help me, cleanse me, and save me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
© Max Lucado, 2013