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March 1, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

“As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him” (Mark 9:15).

Do yourself a favor and copy that Mark verse somewhere where you can see it often and meditate on it throughout this Easter season. I love the sentiment that is expressed, as well as the action that occurs, in that verse – “overwhelmed with wonder… ran to greet him.” As we enter another Easter season, I’ve been thinking about wonder, and how quickly we lose our sense of wonder and awe at the beauty and majesty of the gospel. Most of us hear the stories, and if we’ve heard them many times before, then we have a hard time accessing that childlike wonder at the mystery of what we are hearing – God became man… allowed himself to be abused, rejected, and crucified… died a tragic, unjust death at the hands of the people he had come to save… rose again from the grave, conquering sin and death and making a way for us to be restored to a relationship with God. And we all said, “been there, heard that before.”

“Overwhelmed with wonder… ran to greet him.”

There is a comedian who did an incredible job capturing this reality on the Conan O’Brien show a few years back, in a clip that YouTube has called “Everything is amazing and no one is happy.” The comedian talked about the incredible advances in technology that have happened in his lifetime, and yet how quickly we lose our sense of wonder at the miracles around us. We get on an airplane that gets us from New York to Los Angeles in five hours, sitting in a chair as we fly through the air, and yet we complain about being held up for 30 minutes on the runway. He reflected on a recent flight, and how they had just introduced high speed internet on the plane, and after ten minutes it began to have technical difficulties, causing the guy next to him to start complaining about it. As the comedian put it, how quickly the world owes us something that ten minutes ago we didn’t even know existed.

“Overwhelmed with wonder… ran to greet him.”

The same can sadly become all too true with our relationship with God. The gospel teaches us that our sin has separated us from God, and that there is nothing we can do to overcome that gulf. No amount of good works, no amount of religion – nothing at all can restore our relationship with God. The only way to satisfy a holy God would be to live a perfect life, and we have all failed at that before we even knew there was a God. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Easter is the story of God taking it upon himself to save us, to rescue us from slavery, to win his rebellious children back to him. Is there anything more wonderful than that?

“Overwhelmed with wonder… ran to greet him.”

So this Easter season, ask God to show you Jesus once again, in all His beauty. Ask God, as you read the story once again and hear it preached about, to overwhelm you with wonder, so that you might also run to greet Him. The greatest commandment is not just to believe in God, but to LOVE Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. I believe the fastest path to that kind of love is through wonder. May wonder be yours this Easter season.

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