Memory is an amazing facet of the human brain.
Names, faces, sounds, smells, textures, languages, songs, etc.; all are part of the memories a person retains. Storage of scenes and sights is far greater than the most powerful computer. Recalling those memories, or placing them in context can be challenging, but they are still there. Sometimes memories are triggered by a certain stimulus; sometimes a memory aid or mnemonic is employed for easy recall.
Certain days are designated for honoring people, like mothers on Mother’s Day. Memorials are put in place to honor some. Memorial Day is set aside for remembering those friends and family no longer with us. We commemorate the sacrifice that those in the armed forces have made to keep us a free nation. One of the most important sacrifices made by a man is commemorated on Good Friday, when Christ was crucified on the cross.
The days that followed that dreadful day seemed full of darkness for his disciples. They wanted to prepare his body for proper burial. Maybe they wondered about a memorial for him. Though it was dark the morning the disciples came to the tomb, they were about to witness evidence of the resurrection. The angels who announced the resurrection of Jesus told those who came to the tomb to remember the words of Jesus. “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,” they reported. Emphasis should be placed on two words in that statement, “Risen Remember.”
“And they remembered his words.” Through the fog of their misery and heartache, they glimpsed hope. Their reactions to the news of resurrection ranged from joy to doubt. Some even thought the reports to be “idle tales.” The stark reality of death lingered while they tried to comprehend the report he is alive.
Ironically, those who opposed Jesus remembered his words concerning his resurrection; “We remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.” They wanted a guard placed at the tomb to make sure no theft of his body occurred and a false story circulated about a resurrection. However, no amount of security kept Jesus in the grave. Not soldiers, the Roman seal, nor a large stone could hold back the great event of the resurrection of Jesus. His tomb is empty, not as a fable but as fulfillment of the faithful word of God.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” He reinforced that statement with his own resurrection. He showed himself alive for forty days, and more than 500 people saw him.
We rejoice at the words of the angels, “risen remember.” Because of that reminder, we can face all of our tomorrows and the uncertainties they may hold. The risen Christ will help us rise above affliction and adversity, and ultimately cause us to rise up to meet him (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road and Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study and children’s POWer Hour is at 7:00 p.m. (sterlingpentecostalchurch.com)