Those of us who studied Texas history as school children may remember reading about the fateful events of Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836. The Alamo had just fallen. A few weeks later Colonel James Fannin’s troops had been captured and imprisoned at the presidio La Bahia, near Goliad, Texas. The Mexican officer in charge awakened the Texan prisoners on that Palm Sunday morning telling them that they were to be marched under guard to another location. What actually happened, however, is that they were marched a short distance out of La Bahia, and the Mexican soldiers opened fire on the Texas soldiers, mercilessly killing nearly 350 prisoners. It was called the Goliad Massacre. About a month later General Sam Houston would lead his troops against Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto where Texas independence was won. The battle cry for that victorious battle was “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”
Easter Week is about remembering. Due to differences in the Jewish calendar, the actual weekend of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection moves around on our modern calendars. However, without fail every Spring the week comes, and along with it comes the opportunity for believers to remember the events that are so central to our salvation through Jesus Christ.
The victory that sets us free to enjoy eternal life was won at the Cross of Calvary and at the Empty Tomb. But those events were not just crucial for getting us into heaven when we die. Those two pivotal events provide the power we need for living every day as Christ-followers. It is through the Cross of Jesus that both the penalty and the power of sin are broken on a daily basis. It is dependence upon that power throughout each day that I am able to deny sin and self.
It is through the Resurrection of Christ that we become new persons, changed from the inside out to live the new life that is eternal life. It is through that power that we live in anticipation and hope that one day our weak, sinful bodies will be forever transformed into the likeness of the glorious resurrection body of Jesus.
So this week, consciously rejoice in all that God accomplished for us in Christ. Remember the Cross! Remember the Empty Tomb!