They call it a Perfect Storm. Perfect, not because it is good, but because all the necessary components are in place for an inevitable disaster. It refers to the potential of a complete ocean disaster in nautical terms. The perfect storm for sailors would consist of profound wind, rain, and waves, all driving at the same time and place. It’s just bad, and you truly don’t know if you will survive.

They call it a perfect storm. Those times in our lives when multiple pains and problems appear simultaneously at our doorstep. I suppose it was like that for the women in Matthew 28 that morning. Everything had fallen apart, and no hope was on the horizon. Jesus, the one they had hoped in, was dead. The leading Jews set themselves against Christ’s followers. Rome still ruled like an iron fist, and perhaps worst of all, it seemed God had forsaken them. But as with all else, things are not always as they seem with God.

Yes, they approached the tomb in the darkness that first Easter Sunday morning with no hope. Then, something happened. The historical narrative tells us that an angel appeared before them, rolled the stone away, terrified the Roman guards to the ground, and pronounced that Jesus had risen.

The angel invited the women to go in and see the evidence. But what if it was a myth? The following verses tell us that the Roman platoon went into the city and reported to the chief priests, who fabricated a story of the apostles stealing the body while they slept. The argument does not make sense right out of the shoot, as the guards could not have known who the thieves were if they were asleep. In addition, these were professional Roman soldiers with their lives in jeopardy if they failed to do their job right. But what if the women merely experienced a hallucination or that Jesus never actually died on the cross? These stories take more faith than the testimony of the resurrection itself. But what if the arguments are valid and the resurrection is a farce? Well, our lives will end with a perfect storm of no hope.

But what if the resurrection is true? What’s interesting about the women’s response in this historical narrative is how they left to share the news of Christ’s resurrection with the apostles. The text tells us that there were afraid yet filled with joy. Some form of fear may remain with us all our lives on this side of eternity. Yet for them, their faith rose above fear and changed them. Because of the resurrection, they knew Jesus was and is the divine son of God. They knew that God kept his word. They knew Christ had risen victoriously over sin and death and that there was hope.

That same transformation is available for all of us. In thinking of a perfect storm, I remember the change of the slave trader, John Newton. John lived in complete rejection of Jesus Christ. Then everything changed on the fateful night of March 21, 1748. Newton was at the helm of a ship in a literal perfect storm at sea on the verge of destruction and death. In those moments, his heart was drawn back to the truths his mother taught him as a child. In those moments, he entrusted himself to Christ and his resurrection. In those moments, he was transformed.

On March 21, 1805, shortly before his death, he recorded in his journal memories of the transformational night at sea: “Not well able to write; but I endeavor to observe the return of this day with humiliation, prayer, and praise . . . On that day, the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.”

How could a man of such depravity, and that of his own admission, be so transformed? In his poetic form, Newton described it as, Amazing Grace, and thus wrote the words still sung today around the world in many languages.

Do you know this grace? I hope you will. Do you know friends who are removed from Christ? I hope you will be the one to share the Amazing Grace of Christ with them.

Happy Easter and – Amazing Grace


Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I am found

Was blind, but now I see


‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed


Through many dangers, toils and snares

We have already come

‘Twas grace has brought us safe thus far

And grace will lead us home


The Earth shall soon dissolve like snow

The sun forbear to shine

But God, Who called me here below

Will be forever mine


When we’ve been there ten thousand years

Bright, shining as the sun

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we’ve first begun


Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I am found

Was blind, but now I see

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