We all know that people die. Death is inescapable. Easter sends a message to death. One of my favorite preachers, Bill Ritter, said, “Death is a bully. It snatches senior citizens right out of bed, it destroys people in the prime of their life, and sometimes it even grabs young children. But even though death has a mean grab, it has a weak grip, meaning that death cannot hold what it grabs. God and Jesus Christ, from an empty tomb, stare down death, and say, ‘You let those people go right now, you hear me? Drop them.’ And death does, drop them. While death is a pitcher with a wicked curve ball, God, at Easter, is a catcher with everlastingly long arms. Because of Easter, death has a weak grip to those who believe Easter is alive.” Those words are even more significant than you think, because Bill Ritter and his wife Chris lost their nineteen year old son to suicide. He said to someone recently who lost a child, “If we can make it, you can too.” To which the man shot back, “That’s because the two of you are survivors.” “No,” he said, “That’s because the two of us are believers.” To believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is alive is to believe that He can raise you and those you love to life beyond this life. Because of Easter, we can know that, while death has a mean grab, it has a weak grip on those who believe that Jesus is alive.
– Dr. Tim Thompson