Dose of Truth

The hope of Easter

Tim Richards

Twelve-year-old Jeremy was nearly five years behind in school. He had made it only to the second grade at the Christian school he attended. Controlling his body movements was difficult and learning even more challenging. His teacher, Doris Miller, found teaching him particularly tough. He frequently squirmed and made grunting noises, but he occasionally spoke clearly, as if a light briefly switched on in his brain.

Ms. Miller became so exasperated she asked for a meeting with his parents where she explained it might be better for Jeremy if he attended a special class. His mother asked he be allowed to stay because he felt safe in her class. Doris knew Jeremy had a terminal illness and it was devastating for his parents, however, she also had to think of her other students.

As Doris prayed for patience and wisdom God began to change her heart. As Easter approached Doris told her class the story of Jesus’ resurrection and emphasized the idea of new life. She gave each student a large plastic egg and asked them to, “Bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life.” All the children were excited, except for Jeremy who appeared not to understand. She knew she needed to phone his parents to explain the assignment but got busy with other things and forgot.

The next day, 19 children poured excitedly into class and placed their eggs in a large wicker basket. When they opened the eggs, the contents were proudly displayed. One contained a flower, another a plastic butterfly, still another, a rock covered with moss. Each contained a symbol of new life. However, when Doris opened the next egg she inwardly moaned… it was empty! Children began to giggle and she knew she had opened Jeremy’s egg.

Just as she was about to set it aside so as not to embarrass the child, Jeremy spoke up, “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?” Doris said, “But Jeremy, your egg is empty!” He agreed, “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty too wasn’t it? Jesus was killed, but his Father raised Him up!”

Three months later, Jeremy died. Each mourner who paid their respects was surprised by the 19 empty Easter Eggs inside Jeremy’s casket. The empty tomb offers eternal hope.

Jesus promised, “Since I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19, NLT) Jesus’ resurrection is powerful because it offers the promise of life after death. Like Jeremy, we do not have to understand everything to know the resurrection story offers the guarantee of life after death to all who believe. This is at the very center of the Christian faith. The promise of salvation, forgiveness and a fresh beginning is at the core of the hope God offers each of us this Easter.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at iamtimrichards@yahoo.com. Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim photos may be viewed at https://flickr.com/photos/pentaxpastor.

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