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March 1, 2018, 11:00 AM

Maybe you have heard the expression, "What a difference a day makes!" It is often used to describe a radical change in events or circumstances. Truly, what a difference a day (or two) makes in our lives as a Christian!

As we enter the Easter season, it is easy for Christians to remember two particular days that made an enormous difference. Those days are the day Jesus was crucified and the day Jesus rose from the grave.

On the day Jesus was crucified, He actually experienced God forsaking Him on the cross. Thankfully, those who know Christ as Lord and Savior never have to worry about being forsaken by God.

On the day Jesus rose from the grave, however, we see God's glory coming out of deep darkness and gloom. John 20:1 tells us "when it was still dark" Mary made her way to Jesus' tomb. Matthew 28:1 tells us "it began to dawn" as she and "the other Mary" made their way to the tomb. These phrases describe the physical and natural facts of that particular morning, but they also give us a happy summary of what happened to the emotions of the disciples on that day-it was dark, but it began to dawn.

We often hear about people being "blue", but what the disciples felt was much more than a case of the "blues." They were in a deep, dark, black gloom. Theirs was a gloom of frustration because all their hopes for Jesus being their Messiah had been smashed and shattered. Instead of kicking the Romans out of Israel, He died in weakness and shame on a Roman cross, like a common criminal.

These disciples also knew the gloom of fear. In that same chapter of John's gospel, he tells us they were gathered together with "the doors shut" because of "fear of the Jews"    (v. 19). These men figured their own necks were next on the chopping block. Those who had so cruelly arranged the death of Jesus wouldn't hesitate at all to wipe out His disciples. Frustrated and fearful! Their own lives seeming to pass before their eyes! The disciples didn't stay in such a terrible state, though. Thank God, those precious words from Matthew's gospel came true for those poor men.

The gloom of frustration melted away and was replaced by a strong and vigorous faith. When the disciples discovered that Jesus was alive, their doubts began to die. There was no doubt He was alive. Indisputable evidence removed every shadow of doubt. From the women who saw the massive stone rolled away from the tomb to the grave clothes that laid in the now empty tomb, truly "it began to dawn "!

The gloom of fear exploded and was replaced by excitement and gladness (John 20:20). All of this is a simple sketch of the main events of that day. Yes, it happened a long time ago, but the Jesus who arose over two thousand years ago still lives today.

Because He lives, we don't have to live in the gloom of frustration and fear. We can know the glory of faith and joy even as those early disciples did. In a day when so many are stumbling along in the dark gloom of sin, there is no better time than today to receive the new life only Christ can give. When Christ comes into a person's life, a new day begins to dawn. He is forgiven of his sins and given a new home in heaven.

EASTER is really THE DAY that makes such a difference!

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