The First Un-Boxing
Although many people have moved on from their Christmas gifts to focusing on other things I am still playing with and intrigued by some of my gifts. As a self-proclaimed techno geek (no, I do not think more highly of myself than I ought) I love playing with gadgets and technical things, especially one gift in particular. I saw a video of a backup battery case in operation and thought it looked good so I gave one to my daughter as a Christmas gift. She enjoyed it so much so I used a few of my Christmas gift cards to purchase one for my smart phone. The case has a built in battery so if the phone’s battery gets depleted the case itself becomes a charger and can provide about 191% of the battery power needed to fully charge the phone.
I was intrigued by the device because of the un-boxing videos I’ve seen for this and similar products. For those that do not know an un-boxing video is not a review. It is literally watching a person open a boxed product and take stock of what is inside. The video will usually shine some light on what the product is, what it is used for, what the contents are, and a slight hint of what their review will hold. Every time I watch an actual un-boxing, where the product has not been opened before, I feel as if I am sharing in the surprise, hope, and joy of the person opening the box. It is almost like watching people open Christmas gifts all year long.
Each year as we come upon the season commemorating Resurrection Sunday, I get that same level of excitement, hope, and joy. I think of the wonderment of Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome as they brought spices to the tomb of Jesus and found the tomb open, or un-boxed. I think of the amazement, unbelief, and spark of hope as they entered the tomb and found not a body, but an angel sitting inside. Mark chapter 16 records the women were trembling and that they were amazed. Some translations use the word bewildered. However, the Greek word used is a word where we derive our English word “ecstatic”. These women weren’t confused; they were in a state of divine hope and delight beyond reasoning.
Luke records that Peter ran to the tomb upon hearing it was empty and was filled with wonder whilst John records that they saw it empty and believed. Oddly enough, in the very next verse John confirms that they didn’t understand that Jesus had to rise from the dead, yet still they believed. The empty tomb, the first un-boxing if you will, was God’s fulfillment of scripture. But it was also a sign, a guarantee of who Jesus Christ was, the Savior, the Son of God and of the Spirit filled life that would be there for all those who believed.
In the days and weeks leading to this year’s Resurrection Sunday Celebration, God invites us all to search our hearts; to determine what the empty tomb represents to each of us and to determine who Jesus will be in our lives. Will His resurrection be just a historical event or will it be the earth shattering act from the Creator of the universe to show humanity that He knows us, cares about us, and is able to give us a new life in and with Him? Will Jesus be just a teacher and religious icon that sparks societal controversy or will He be God in the flesh who lived, died, and was resurrected so that nothing would separate us from the love of God and so that we might spend an eternity experiencing God’s goodness, grace, and love?