“Behold the clothes in the grave. Go and proclaim to the world: “The Lord is risen. He has slain death, as He is the Son of God, saving the race of men!”
Cable TV offers us a wide variety of channels—filled with “nothing to watch!” I often revert to the station that has the only news we can really use: The Weather Channel. In addition to the local forecast, it features reports from folks they call “stormchasers.” The channel execs dispatch these fearless (?) employees into the heart of every storm, where they courageously stand (or at least, try to) in blizzards, tornados, tsunamis and hurricanes, through wind, snow, rain, mud and ice, to deliver eyewitness reports of the awesome power of nature. Whatever they pay them is not enough.
Despite the inherent dangers, risks and hazards, everyone seems to enjoy the thrill, excitement and adventure of the chase—for whatever reason. Children playing tag, for example, are full of excitement and get a great deal of exercise engaging in the chase—as do the parents running after them.
Though we generally don’t conceive of it as such, our desire to engage in the chase continues through adulthood. It’s always been the case. In the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes, we read in just a few verses that the great and wise King Solomon chased after pleasure, laughter, wine, jewels, houses, vineyards, fruit trees, silver, gold, orchards and music. And he ultimately “caught” everything he chased! Reflecting on all the wealth and wisdom and stuff he had accumulated, however, he says: “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had spent in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” [Ecclesiastes 2:11]. Finally, with righteous wisdom, he concludes by saying: “Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man” [Ecclesiastes 12:13.
It can rightly be said that Jesus Christ was the greatest stormchaser Who ever lived. He was sent by His Father into the storm of fallen humanity—not to observe and report, but to rescue mankind from the tsunami of sin, the hurricane of corruption, the tornado of death. After revealing in word and deed the will of God to save mankind, and facing the winds and waves of ingratitude, hypocrisy, defiance and contempt, He ultimately, voluntarily, stretched out His arms upon a cross and declared of the storm: “It is finished!”
After weeks of lenten reflection, we now find ourselves chasing with excitement the intense spiritual joy of Jesus’ glorious resurrection from the dead. In doing so, we celebrate our deliverance from the storm, in the hope that His victory will penetrate our hearts with a personal experience of the immeasurable love of Our Lord as revealed through His cross and empty tomb. Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies fall far short of capturing that joy.
We’ve probably weathered many storms in our lives by God’s grace. We’ve heard His words, seen His miracles and felt His peace. Now, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.” And like those who “departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy” and who “ran to tell His disciples” [Matthew 28:8], we run to share the good news of the resurrection with a world that often seems to prefer darkness to light, evil to good, and death to life.
Solomon was right. Regardless of the things that so often consumed us as we chase life, our duty is to fear God and keep His commandments. The Great Stormchaser has visited and redeemed us! Let us worship Him!