It seems fitting that Easter is celebrated in spring. Every year I anticipate seeing those first signs that life is about to burst forth from the death of winter — tiny hints of red perched on the tips of tree limbs and peeks of green in forests and fields. It’s an annual resurrection that invigorates my senses, stirs up joy and anticipation, and restores my hopefulness. I guess you could say that it gives me new life.
That’s what resurrection is — new life.
Remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus has the same effect. When I remember his horrific death and glorious resurrection, it stirs me to joy and praise! It restores my hope that the struggles and pain of this life are temporary. Although stresses and burdens may have made it feel like a drab and cold winter, the celebration of Easter is like springtime bursting forth in my heart.
We’ve heard the Easter story so often that I think sometimes we neglect to consider the devastation felt by those who loved Jesus and watched in terror as he was executed. I reread the story and try to imagine it — the raw bitter emotion, the blood, the gore, and the heartache. I’m sure that for those who loved him, all the beauty and color of the world drained away as blood flowed and his body hung, lifeless.
How could they even breathe?
On that Holy Saturday, with his lifeless body sealed in a tomb, the depth of the darkness they felt must have made it seem as though God had never spoken the words, “Let there be light.” The Light of their world was gone.
If “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12 ESV), then hope lost completely must certainly make the heart die.
The following day a group of heartbroken women made a tear-filled journey back to the tomb. They carried spices to anoint his body and be near him one last time. It’s hard to lose those we love, and I’m sure they didn’t want to let go.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them,
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”Luke 24: 1-6 (ESV)
Like the life and color of spring bursting forth from the drab lifelessness of winter, those two words would resurrect their joy, peace, and hope. We can experience resurrection like that too.
Have you experienced loss? — a job, a relationship, a loved one, health, peace, hope, joy — it can be like standing in front of a sealed tomb. Dark. Dismal, Hopeless. Devastating.
There’s reason to hope because we can trust in the promise of Jesus that this death is temporary; he has conquered it. We taste the sweetness and joy of resurrection when we allow Jesus to use our heartaches and losses to bring forth new life in our hearts — more extraordinary love, joy, tenderness, kindness, renewed hope, goodness, and empathy.
Easter and the beauty of springtime beckon us to hold on to this glorious hope —
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”(Revelation 21:4, ESV)
- Are you mourning a loss — joy, hope, peace, confidence, love?
- Do you believe that Jesus can bring resurrection? Have you asked Him to?