The fourth grade students filed into the Sunday school class and took their seats. Excitement permeated the air as the girls admired each other’s frilly dresses. The boys pulled at their uncomfortable neckties worn only for this special occasion. Both groups, however, chattered about the dyed eggs, chocolate candy and other goodies they’d found in their Easter baskets that morning.
The teacher wanted her students to understand that Easter was more than new clothes, bunny rabbits and chocolate eggs. She read the story of Jesus’ death on the cross, His burial in the tomb and the reality of His resurrection three days later. To reinforce the lesson, she gave each of her students a plastic egg and explained they were going to take a walk outside where they were to find one sign of life and place it in their egg.
As the students filed out the door, the teacher noticed a young boy with Down syndrome who had been attending class for a while. With his sunny disposition and constant smile, Danny was the epitome of unconditional love that God has for His children. However, it broke the teacher’s heart when the other children made fun of him. Of course, she always corrected them and attempted to help them see how special Danny was. The youngster appeared unaware of their taunts and considered each child his “buddy.”
When they returned from their walk, each student shared with the class what they’d found. One student’s egg contained a butterfly. Another egg held a worm. Other students had collected blades of grass, flowers, leaves and twigs. Only one egg had nothing in it. The students giggled because they knew whose egg it was. Silencing the students with a look, the teacher asked Danny why he had not put anything representing a sign of life in his egg.
Grinning, Danny responded, “Because the tomb was empty.”
As this often shared story demonstrates, the little boy with Down syndrome had grasped the significant truth of Easter. The tomb was empty, an ultimate sign of life and an incomparable miracle.
A miracle indeed! Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. With their own eyes, the women who had seen Him die on the cross and prepared His body for burial on Friday saw the empty tomb three days later. Jesus had kept His promise.
Pastor and author Max Lucado says, “And, as we envision the moment, we stand in awe.We stand in awe not just because of what we see, but because of what we know… We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us” (Rom. 6:5–9 MSG).
Spend some time this Easter weekend thanking God for the miracle of life. Then, share the good news with someone else: The tomb is empty! He is risen! He is risen indeed!