Finished!

march.5b

Easter Sunday has come and gone. We consumed our deviled eggs wearing new spring dresses and are likely counting down the weeks to summer.  Though thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice, we’re back to our regular grind.

But do you imagine the disciples were back to their normal routines three short days later?  How could they have been? Life was anything but normal for those who had seen Jesus alive, risen from the dead!

Can you even imagine the resurrection experience?

Not likely. We haven’t seen this with our own eyes.  But we can relate to the sting of death, so let’s focus there

Have you ever lost someone you know well?  Maybe a family member or a dear friend?

Two weeks ago a friend of mine died quite suddenly. Hit by a truck while crossing the street. Gone in 24 hours.  Her absence has left everyone in shock. Our kids grew up together, matched almost perfectly in ages.  My daughter even named her favorite doll after her best friend, and my friend’s daughter, Bethany.

Another dear friend’s fifteen-year-old, perfectly healthy son dropped dead one evening after dinner in February.  Still, two months later, I shake my head in disbelief at every remembrance.

Those of us, who death leaves behind, like to categorize loss to help it make sense. I’ve heard comments like, “It’s not as bad as a young mom dying.” Really?  Or, “At least you have other children.” Is that logic supposed to help? It doesn’t.

Only the Resurrection can bring genuine help and hope.

These lyrics “fought the fight, the battle won,” written by Charles Wesley in 1739, remind us what a universe-altering event was the empty tomb; angels watched and wondered while demon armies surely cheered, when Jesus breathed His last on the cross.

Like the story of Aslan, bound with thick ropes on the stone table, apparently overpowered by the White Witch and her evil brood, and then killed; it seemed the story had ended. But CS Lewis wrote there was a deeper magic unknown to all but Aslan and the Emperor over the sea.

The resurrection was that deeper magic. It means death is no longer final!

Can you imagine a dead body not decaying? Jesus’ body did not, “Nor did His flesh suffer decay” (Acts 2:31).

Can we will a loved one back to life?  No, but for Jesus “it was impossible for Him to be held in death’s power,” (Acts 2:24).  Charles Wesley said it this way, “Death in vain forbids Him rise!”

Can we survive the death of one so dear as a son or a spouse? Yes, because if God worked together for good all the evil arrayed against His Son, He can help us survive as we trust Him to work good for us, too.

Easter is the glorious ending of His life on earth chapter in the story. Because Jesus did not decay but instead rose again, we have solid evidence giving us hope for our loved ones’ resurrection and ours as well.

“Love’s redeeming work is done!”; His work is finished once for all!

May this hymn of victory ring in your ears all year long. It is our anthem as Christians, our fight song, our hymn of just-around-the-corner triumph over death!

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