Friday, April 3, 2009

It's Friday! So that, from Little Rock, it's Dr. Emil Turner.

Resurrection Sunday

Posted on Friday, April 3, 2009


It is almost here! Every year for the past 2000 years, the collective pulse of the Bride has quickened. Resurrection Sunday is almost upon us. Uncounted millions will honor Him who died and rose on our behalf. We will read the Scripture that promised that death would not hold Him, we will rise early and greet the sun and proclaim that as sure as there is sunrise there was Son Rise. We will sing, pray and rejoice. Our voices will blend with the voices of those who have gone before us in praise of Him who demonstrated the ultimate power over the universe He had created.

Those who do not know Him will be forced to recognize that we believe the unbelievable. They will deride us as deluded, and laugh at our 2000 year old celebration. A few of us who are intimidated by them will try to explain it to them. Most of us will simply proclaim it. He is alive, He is alive, and we will live with Him!

Even the casual among us will recognize on Friday before Resurrection Sunday that they need to go back to the Church for which He gave Himself. So on the anniversary of the death of death, they will, like us, stream to hear the Reality proclaimed again. Strangers to the Kingdom will wonder at the sudden concern of its citizens, and draw near to see that the Resurrection holds us in a grip not even death can break.

Mothers, beg your wayward sons to come back and worship the Son who came back from the farthest reaches of the grave. Fathers, call your children to gather before Him who is the Son of the Everlasting Father, present them to Him, and call on Him to keep them close to you, and closer to Himself. Old men, lead the young men to worship the Ancient of Days; old women, do not let the approaching sunset diminish the glory of the Son Rise. And children, draw close and listen to the Story of how the worst horror become the brightest hope of all.

O, Preacher, give them a reason to come back. When they come to hear again the Miracle that proves all the miracles, let the Light that flashed from the tomb flash from your heart, with the authority of the angels declare that He is alive, flushed with victory over the common Enemy of all mankind, proclaim a Victory that reduces all other struggles to skirmishes, the outcome of which has been predetermined. Preacher, let them feel the ground before the tomb tremble at the coming forth of the Son. Let them hear the eternal song in the angel’s words. Press upon them the promise that because Christ died and rose again, He is coming back for us.

And when they leave the house of worship, may they look to the eastern sky to see if it flashes with His return, and may they spend the rest of their lives listening for His trumpet.

He came back, He is coming back.

turnere.JPGEmil Turner serves as executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons and two grandsons. Turner enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time.

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