People all over the Lodi area — and throughout the Christian world — filled churches on Sunday to commemorate what may be considered the world's greatest miracle — that Christ's tomb was empty after he was crucified on the cross.
Many people who saw Jesus Christ die 2,011 years ago thought that someone stole Jesus' body, but in an Easter message at Lodi's Grace Presbyterian Church, Pastor David Hill pointed to John and Peter looking into the tomb. Then Mary, Jesus' mother, looked in and began crying uncontrollably, but two angels told her that he was alive, Hill said.
"For the Christian families, this is the 'Eyewitness News,'" Hill said.
Hill addressed the traditional Easter message — that Christ died for everyone's sins, but he rose from the dead on the third day after being hanged from the cross.
Sunday's Easter sermon also included Hill asking his congregation and guests if anyone performed random acts of kindness during the past week. And in addition to an Easter egg hunt for the children, Hill arranged for some doves to be released outside the church as a symbol of Christ's Resurrection.
The doves, provided by Lodi trainer John McCalmon, know their way home. Once they were released from the lawn outside Grace Presbyterian Church, the doves were expected to return to their east Lodi ranch within 10 minutes, way sooner than McCalmon would arrive. Two weeks ago, the birds flew home by themselves all the way from Turlock, McCalmon said.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.