How terribly mighty that love must be. ~ Walter Wangerin Jr.
It’s a long, discouraging losing streak when every player dies. We needed a win, but didn’t expect victory to emerge from the most spectacular of defeats.
The Easter Back Story
From the start, the odds were stacked against us. Sowing outrage, stirring conflict, distracting our attention with shiny objects, evil masks its true intention– to undo creation, to hasten death.
Death of God’s plan, death of God’s delight, death of relationship, of identity, of meaning and joy. Death of us.
But one quiet morning the tables were turned. Death was swallowed up in victory.
In Victory’s Garden
It’s still dark, the world sleeps, unaware someone is tinkering with the previous day’s sorrows. With silent step, a divine intruder comes and rolls the stone away. The hard rock, once sealed tight against our hope, now lies useless on its side.
No sword is drawn, but victory is swift and sure, the destruction of chaos by the Prince of Peace. The worst of news ushers in the best of times, new life.
Victory Still Seems Elusive
Resurrection comes softly and at first we don’t perceive it. Did you expect the rise of armies, the slaughter of villains and a golden throne on a hill? Instead, the “terrible, mighty” love of the living Savior is unleashed by his defeat. The pattern of this world is turned inside out for those willing to be turned:
- In dying we receive life
- In sorrow joy is fashioned
- In poverty of spirit we find wealth beyond imagining
- In giving up our right to self-rule, we find freedom no tyrant can know.
You say, “What of war, disease and disaster? How has anything changed? What good did the cross do?” In its last dying gasp, evil tries to divert our attention, but its final end will come.
Now, everything is different! In one bruised and broken person at a time, in one family knit back together, in one community restored. All over the world, unnoticed by the media, unheralded by those in power, where Jesus has his way, life wins.
Have you run out of hope today? Remember, the victory of the empty tomb:
- There is life more powerful than any death we face.
- There is love greater than all the hatred set against us.
- There is provision beyond all the shortages we fear.
- There is safe place to stand no matter what dangers we may face.
- There is healing no disease can destroy.
- There is hope no hurricane force despair can deny us.
Hope for a better me. Hope for a joy-filled you. Hope for our world beyond any good we can imagine.
Because of an empty tomb, life will get the last word.
Need to be reminded? Listen to, and join in with this song of celebration!
In our series, An Alphabet Adagio, we are savoring the story of the Bible, our story, alphabetically. You can subscribe to e-mail at the bottom of this website so you don’t have to miss a letter.
Photograph by Melanie Hunt