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how i see Easter...


Over the span of three days several thousand years ago,
Jesus changed everything for humanity. Everything.
When I reflect on what He did and why He did it, and what it all means, this is what I see. 

It's about time I share this piece of writing on my own blog,
 just as I've been sharing it on my personal facebook profile for over six years now.
This blog will outlast me when I am no longer here in this world,
and this message is the most important one I can share with you.
This is what means the most to me,
and I hope that the message of Salvation through the love of Jesus
will reach your heart as you read...

Good Friday teaches us that even when we face the darkest times, the hardest challenges, the most heartbreaking moments, the most devastating losses... there will come a day that those things are finished. When light wins over dark. When right wins over wrong. When life triumphs over death. When our pain subsides in the face of great, abounding JOY.

This day, the day Jesus was crucified and died, was a day that confused and saddened the disciples who had walked with Him and followed His teachings. His death made them question everything He had promised... and their faith in God. They had no idea what was in store for Him, for them, for the world. They had no idea that his physical death was necessary for His promises to be true.

They didn't see that it wasn't nails that held Christ's body on that wooden cross.

It was LOVE.

His love for us, for every person ever born in all of history, was what made Jesus submit to torture and death. He willingly died. He was not murdered. No one 'put him to death'... He gave Himself. When they taunted Him 'If you ARE the son of God, save yourself' He didn't because He knew he HAD to die for us. And so He did.

....and three days later, after the chaos and the storm and the suffering, in the quiet peacefulness of morning, his body breathed again and He rose, rolled the stone away, and walked out of the tomb. Jesus Rose. Jesus Lives. Just as He said He would. He conquered the power of darkness and sin and death so that we will be seen by God as perfect and able to enter His presence. He did it for US.

That is Easter... The sunrise. The dawn. The light erasing the dark. Erasing the divide between us and God.

I have lost count of how many times in my life it felt like everything was over, done, dead, finished, destroyed beyond repair and damaged beyond healing. Sometimes it was. But most of the time, the darkness and despair was temporary. Redemption was coming.

It may be Friday, and things may look devastating in the world right now, just as they did so long ago.... but hold on. The glory of Sunday is coming! Everything can change in three days... because this is not the end of the story!

Saturday.
The Day In Between. Between the darkest day and the brightest day.

Don't we get impatient with those 'in between' times? When we've suffered a loss or a hurt, when things didn't go our way, our prayer wasn't answered the way we wanted it to be, when plans didn't work out? When our world crumbles, our dreams die, our hope fades, and our faith wanes? When we are 'in between' the onset of the challenge and the answer we seek? When everything seems overwhelming, and hopeless, and too much to handle? We get impatient. Angry. Sad. Depressed. Cynical.

When the weight of the world is on our weary, broken shoulders, it feels like a stone hanging around our neck.... immovable. un-budge-able. permanent.

Just like the stone that was rolled over the entrance to the tomb that they laid the body of Jesus in. The dead body of Jesus - wrapped in linen cloths and anointed with oils, sprinkled with herbs, sealed into the cold hard rock room behind a stone that had released from a cantilevered position to fall and permanently close off the tomb. Forever. Absolutely impossible for it to be moved by human hands.

Life can feel like that... like we've been permanently sealed into place. With no choice but to accept the inevitable death of what was once alive and vibrant. Surrounded by cold, hard reality, we sink into the dark, dank tomb of depression and sorrow, and lie down. We tell ourselves, it's over.

I've been there, and it truly does feel like death - even if you're still breathing.

But the thing is, behind that big huge solid rock that's blocking the exit from that place of cold hard reality, things are happening. It's said that angels came to guard Christ's body, and that the glory of their presence lit up the darkness of that tomb. His eyes were closed, He wasn't breathing - his earthly, human body was dead. Scripture tells us that His Spirit descended into Hell, faced down Satan, and defeated the power of death once and for all, right then and there. Big, huge, powerful things were happening behind that closed, sealed door....and behind His closed eyes.

That's what today, the Day In Between, is about in the Easter story. That even when it looks hopeless, even when it looks like nothing is happening, and the door is locked and it's too big and too heavy to move, when we can't see an escape from the dark, cold, harsh reality of the tomb, big huge powerful things are happening. Around us. Within us. Angels stand guard over us. Angels fight for us. Light surrounds us. Hope and Faith encompass us - even if our eyes are closed to it.

The darkness seemed permanent on this day long ago. The tomb seemed permanent. The hopelessness seemed permanent. But beyond the view of human eyes, big, huge, powerful things were happening. For us. It was all for US. We couldn't see what He was doing. Sometimes, we still suffer from that blindness.

... but joy comes in the morning!

Sunrise.
The break of dawn, the arrival of light, the end of night.

So many nights in my life, both actual and metaphorical, I have yearned and prayed and longed for the dawn to come.... amazingly, even though every day the sun rises, there was doubt in my heart many times. Doubt that the light would return. Doubt that the darkness would not win. Doubt that even though with proof beyond rebuttal that the sun rises in the East every.single.morning, somehow it would fail to do so when I needed it most.

And yet.... it did. It always does.

The sun always rises in the East, flooding a darkened world with light. Things come to life in the light... things grow and move and live in the light. Light heralds life like a trumpet voluntary heralds the arrival of royalty.

This day in history, Easter Sunday morning, celebrates the sunrise of hope. Of faith. Of salvation. Of promises being kept, and of proof of royalty.... the King of Kings really had walked among us as a human man named Jesus. He disrobed himself of his Divinity and joined us humans in the dust and dirt, and then died a horrific death in front of us, to prove that He would go to the ends of the Earth to bring us back to Himself. ... to the ends of the Earth and beyond. Into Hell, into Death, into eternity to overcome the thing that soiled us and kept us at a distance from Him.

But then he closed the distance. Himself.

He built a bridge, from the clay of Earth to the throne room of Heaven where His Father, God, reigns for eternity. By coming to US, and taking on our human form, being tempted to sin yet sinning not, He took on all of the sin and guilt and shame and evil that we humans embody throughout time. He took that with Himself into death. Into Hell, where it belongs - and where, if not for Him carrying our burden for us and paying OUR price with His blood shed on the cross, we would be sentenced to spend eternity. Apart from God.

The sun rose on that first Easter Sunday, and Mary arrived at the graveyard to find the unmovable stone moved, and the tomb filled only with the presence of two angels.... in the bright, shining light of their glory and the rising sun, she learned that her Jesus, her teacher, her Master, was no longer there. 'He has Risen!' the angels told her.

And then, He appeared to her... standing before her, in the flesh, He called her name... and she suddenly 'saw' Him. The miracle became reality. In the light of the dawn, she saw that darkness had fled, light had won, and His power was real. He was more than a Jewish man from Galilee.... He was God.

Every day, we have the chance to 'see' Jesus, to 'see' God, to realize that their light casts out darkness, that their power overcomes death and sorrow and pain and hurt and anger and rage and evil. It doesn't eradicate it, but it overcomes. It will win, in the end, and in the meantime it empowers us to have hope, to hold to our faith, to rejoice that the actual dawn on that first Easter Sunday shows us what the dawn of His return will be like.... when the universe is flooded with His light, and He reigns as Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and darkness disappears. Forever.

The sunrise always comes... and the Son's light always shines.

He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!

Wishing you all a meaningful Passover (because it is connected!), glorious Resurrection Day, and Happy Easter... and that you will allow Jesus to deliver you from darkness to the light of His everlasting love and life.

~ deb
Easter, Resurrection Sunday, Ressurection Day, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Messiah, Passover, Passover lamb, cross, crucifiction, resurrection, the stone was rolled away, salvation, John 3:16

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