Max Lucado tells the story of a missionary in Brazil who discovered a tribe of Indians in a remote part of the jungle. They lived near a large river. The tribe was in need of medical attention because a contagious disease was ravaging the population. People were dying daily.
A hospital was not too terribly far away—across the river, but the Indians would not cross it because they believed it was inhabited by evil spirits. They believe that to enter the water would mean certain death. The missionary explained how he had crossed the river and was unharmed. They were not impressed.
He then took them to the bank and placed his hand in the water. They still wouldn’t go in. He walked into the water up to his waist and splashed water on his face. It didn’t matter. They were still afraid to enter the river.
Finally, he dove into the river, swam beneath the surface until he emerged on the other side. He punched a triumphant fist into the air. He had entered the water and escaped. It was then that the Indians broke out into a cheer and followed him across.
That’s exactly what Jesus did! He entered the river of death and came out on the other side. No wonder we celebrate the Resurrection!