Cumberland Times-News

March 20, 2008

Travel the road that brings us to Christ

David Sandvick, Columnist

This year, it feels like Easter is coming too early and I don't feel ready for it. I have no candy stock-piled; no eggs colored, and our traditional hand-made baskets are still in storage.

Neither does it feel much like spring yet. In fact, as we exited church on Palm Sunday, there were snow flurries in the air presenting a stark contrast to the palm branches being waved around inside.

No, I am not yet feeling the joy of resurrection morning and it may be that one must experience the suffering of the savior in order to really appreciate the meaning of the empty tomb. It is only when we understand the road Jesus traversed that we can treasure the destination of that road.

In some ways, Easter reminds me that we are all traveling a road of our own. Sometimes that road is straight, level and easily navigated. At other times it takes us into deep, dark valleys that make us question our own faith.

No matter how difficult the road may be, our destination remains clear, and it is not a place. It is a person. Our destination is Jesus. To be like him, to be with him, and to be one with him. The women coming first to the tomb did not look for an empty tomb but rather they looked for Jesus.

"The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said." Matthew 28: 5-6.

This Easter season, many churches in our area are having special communion and Good Friday services that help us travel the road that brings us to the person of Jesus Christ. Make time to participate in these worship experiences this week and be in church Easter morning to celebrate where the road leads. Have a blessed Easter.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.