now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, mary magdalene and the other mary went to see the tomb. and behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. and for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. but the angel said to the women, “do not be afraid, for i know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. he is not here, for he has risen, as he said. come, see the place where he lay. then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to galilee; there you will see him. see, i have told you.” so they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. and behold, Jesus met them and said, “greetings!” and they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. then Jesus said to them, “do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to galilee, and there they will see me.” [matthew 28:1-10]


the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. [lamentations 3:22-23]


weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. [psalm 30:5b]


for when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “this is my beloved Son, with whom i am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. and we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, [2 peter 1:17-19]


what must it have been like that morning, in the early hours, the women singing and praying as they approached Jesus’ tomb? there is something about the morning that stirs us. one of my memories from childhood was my dad waking me up before dawn and taking me out to a nearby camp where he would lead the sunrise service for our church. as the sun came up, we would sing and pray, and simply be silent, watching brilliant colors of red, purple, pink and orange set fire to the horizon–and i would tremble, looking at the empty cross by the campfire ring silhouetted against that array of colors, thinking of the empty cross and that Jesus’ body in the tomb had risen on a morning like this, he was now with the Father.  i couldn’t name what it was that i experienced then, but now i can–it was God’s presence. i am thankful for the gift of being shown how to be still and wait on him.

i hope as you awoke this morning and caught a glimpse of the sunrise, God’s steadfastness and faithfulness were the first things that flooded your thoughts–there are so many that will not give Jesus a thought today, so many who will not wait on him.


many easter celebrations will happen this morning. many will get dressed and attend a church service, one of the only times this year they will be in the presence of other believers. let it be our prayer that many across the city, state, country and world will hear the gospel for the first time, and that they will respond.  as we attend services and family gatherings, let us wait on the Lord, and let our gratitude for the gospel be on our own lips–let us be ready to give an account of the hope that is within us–the hope of morning: sunrise is coming, Jesus is alive!

“i, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. i am the root and the descendant of david, the bright morning star.” [revelation 22:16]


and the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. by its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,  and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.  [revelation 21:23-25]


~ ce