Imagine the first Easter weekend…Jesus’ followers have just watched their beloved teacher be flogged, mocked, and crucified. They have watched Him hang for hours in horrific agony--if they didn’t choose to run away and hide in fear, that is. Everything they had built their lives around for the past three years of Jesus’ ministry seemed to be crumbling around them.
How dark that first night without Jesus must have felt. Imagine the fear and sorrow plaguing the hearts of His followers, the worry about what to do next…To them, all hope was lost.
But three days later, light dawned on the resurrection morning.
The light of this morning chased away all fear and sorrow because Jesus was ALIVE! His death was not His defeat, but His victory! After thousands of years' worth of prophecies and promises, God had finally conquered death, hell, and the grave.
It is a simple and familiar thought that we can have hope because of Jesus’ Easter victory, but I think it is one we often fail to appreciate in its fullness. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection paid the price for our sin and gave us a way to eternal life, and this is the greatest thing He could ever do for us. But the beauty of this event doesn’t stop there. When Jesus rose in victory, He not only gave us hope for eternity, but hope for every circumstance in between.
Sometimes we find ourselves trapped in the dark of night--whether that darkness comes in the form of financial troubles, spiritual battles, the loss of a loved one, and so on--and like the disciples, we feel as though all hope is lost. How can the sun ever shine again when everything has gone so horribly wrong and it seems like life as we know it is falling to pieces? But the Easter story shows us that a victory morning is always on the way, whether it comes in this life or the beginning of our eternal life.
“...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
~ Psalms 30:5
A beautiful example of this is found in my grandfather, who I called Pawpaw...He was diagnosed in 2015 with Parkinson’s disease, and for six years he battled it without complaint, all under the loving and faithful care of my grandmother (Mawmaw). In March of this year, he began to experience major complications caused by his disease, which led to an infection in his lungs that the doctors could not cure. So he was sent home to us on hospice care, and our family waited at his bedside, talking to him, singing, crying, and praying for God’s will to be done. It was a long and painful few days. Our hearts ached with the agony of watching our beloved Pawpaw, father, husband, and friend fade away. But we wanted God’s will above all…and that will became clear when my Pawpaw passed from this life on the morning of March 22nd.
This may seem like a defeat--the one we love so much was taken from us, after all--but on that spring morning, my Pawpaw found his everlasting joy. Because of Easter, my Pawpaw gained his own victory over death, hell, and the grave! And because of Easter, I know that, while my world feels dark and painful at the moment, a resurrection morning is coming. One day, no grave will be able to hold my grandfather’s body down. One day, all of us will rise to meet our loved ones and our SAVIOR in the air, all sorrow and mourning will cease, every tear shall be wiped away, and JOY shall reign forevermore.
“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.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
~ Revelation 21:4-5
If you are caught in the dark of night because of your circumstances, hold on! Because night never lasts forever--the morning is on its way!