Sitting in Easter service yesterday, my thoughts were swirling inside. Words for a blog post I should have posted yesterday.
I didn’t. Instead, I chose to spend the day with my family.
Even so, the words remained with me throughout the day. When the words swirl inside, my two choices are to write them down and send them out, or to keep them to myself. The second option is the usually the safest one. No threat of being wrong with Option Number 2. Keep your thoughts to yourself. But today, I’m choosing Option Number 1. Maybe in these words, you will find comfort:
What follows is the post I should have written yesterday:
It’s Easter Sunday, and I am celebrating the Resurrection. The celebration is always special, no doubt. The ethereal songs, the smiles from friends. “He is Risen,” they say. He is Risen, indeed. What is an impossible story to some, a fable to others, to me, it’s the foundation on which my faith is built.
But why? Why does the Resurrection really matter?
There is something so much more to the Resurrection. More than the spring dresses, the colored eggs, and family gatherings. It goes much deeper than those superficial things:
It’s only in the Resurrection that the pain and sorrows
of this world finally make sense.
Why does God allows so many sorrows in life? That problem of that question is the number one reason why people turn from God. Think about it: Autism. Disabilities. Financial chaos. Betrayals. A good God would not allow such suffering. Right?
And yet, this is the one misconception about the Christian walk. Scripture never promised that life would be easy for Christians. Instead, Jesus Himself said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV 1984
People can say a lot about God. An non-believer can look at the example that imperfect Christians (myself very much included) present and find good reasons to refuse to follow Jesus. I urge people to not to follow other Christians, (again, myself included) but follow CHRIST. His example. His words. His teachings.
Only in Christ can we truly discover the essence and of true Christianity. Only in Jesus’ example—in His life and Words—can faith stand up to the onslaught of life’s difficulties.
People can say many things about the Jesus of the Bible. But they can never say that He fails to understand our sufferings, the pain of life. That is why God sent Jesus. He wanted us to know that He’s is with us, our Emmanuel, or “God with Us”, when life is too hard. God Himself, in the body of Jesus, felt our pain, endured our betrayals, and suffered not only our death, but a death that was humiliating and unjust. He understands our grief.
This is where the Resurrection matters. In the Resurrection, we find hope in the face of grief. We find an end to senseless pain. We find the joy that is promised, a complete and never-ending joy that no one, no person or situation in life can ever take away:
“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
In the Resurrection, we find victory over our pain:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nature Points to the Resurrection
Even if you never open the pages of Scripture, you can discover glimpses of the Resurrection around us. It can be seen in the caterpillar as it stills and shrouds itself in a papery cocoon only to be transformed to a glorious new life. And in the dry seed that is covered with earth, buried in the ground, that comes to life in the Spring. A tiny, dry and dead seed can be transformed to a strong tree providing shelter and life to birds and other animals.
What science can reproduce these things? With all of our knowledge, can we mix the cocktail of chemicals, the molecular structure of life, and produce that life? No. The essence of life remains a mystery. We admit that. Why, then, is it so difficult to believe in the mystery of the Resurrection? We see such miracles before our very eyes.
The Resurrection is Hope
Why am I writing this today? Because the Resurrection is our hope.
I find suffering around me everywhere, everyday. Horrible, unjust, painful suffering for believers and non-believers alike. I hate it. It makes me cry out to God, why, Lord, why?
Thanks to the Resurrection, I have found great comfort in knowing that this is not the end of the story. That death and suffering were defeated when Jesus stepped out of the tomb on Sunday morning. Just as the seed waits in the ground to spring forth with life, and as Jesus’ body rested on cold stone, so we are waiting to see the end of suffering forever. We are simply waiting. For the light that is coming. For the life that is promised.
Wherever you are, whatever you are dealing with today, my prayer is that in some way, you see a glimpse of the Resurrection today. In a brightly colored flower that bursts to greet the sun, or in a touch of the Son’s warmth on your skin after a long, hard winter. My prayer is that the Resurrection will become a real hope for you today.
He is Alive!