The facebook easter greetings seem to be eggs-tra special this year (okay, I agree that was cheezy, but I couldn’t resist). Maybe we all need a good dose of spring, new life and most of all hope. Hope that as the seasons change, so can our outlook and our perspective, even though our circumstances may be the same.
That’s what’s happening to me this year. It’s been a tough few months since my dad died, and further back since we moved here and experienced all the trauma, change and upheaval that comes with a new address. There are many things in my life that are still unfamiliar, uncomfortable and well … just plain unacceptable, but today there is also HOPE.
Hmmm, after re-reading what I just wrote, I’m thinking that there is Someone Else who can identify with those feelings. Someone who left all that was familiar for a new address and all the trauma, change, upheaval that would bring. A life that was unfamiliar, uncomfortable and in many ways unacceptable. And to top it all off, His best friend died and those He trusted the most betrayed Him.
It has occurred to me during this Lenton season that there is nothing that has happened to me that Jesus hasn’t also experienced. That’s a comfort to know in itself.
But He didn’t stop there. He went on to experience our greatest enemy, our greatest fear and all that goes along with loss, grief, death and dying. He carried on, determined to fulfill his heavenly Father’s plan for Him, no matter the cost. And it did cost him everything, including his precious life.
All so that on this Easter Day, as the beneficiaries of all His goodness and sacrifice, we can say, … oh death where is your sting? oh grave, where is your victory? And isn’t that what we all want to do … cheat death? the death and loss we face everyday … loss of dreams, loss of relationships, loss of life itself.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God, For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. … We do not want you to be uninformed … about the hardships we suffered … We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:3 – 9)
That’s it!!! That’s why … “we do not want you to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. … And so we will be with the Lord forever … Therefore encourage each other with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:1 – 18)
What a hope! … or as one facebook friend posted … “If Jesus Christ is still in the grave, nothing matters. But if He came out of the grave, nothing but that really matters.”