In the summer of 1999, I hurt my back. Through many prayers and doctor visits, I sought healing. At the same time, I learned to cope with the pain, yet always longing for a time when I could walk without pain, sit without pain, and sleep without pain. As the years passed, I hoped a little less, prayed a little less, and expected any sort of relief a little less. This was my lot in life.
And then my parents gave me the gift of a mattress topper. My sleep was
transformed overnight. My back pain during sleep nearly disappeared as well as relieving some pain during the day. Relief came after I essentially had given up looking for it, and I was astonished as I remembered how refreshing a good night’s sleep could be.
The older we get, the harder it can be to be astonished by Easter. Yes, we have experienced so many Easters before, and it can become a commonplace holiday among the many others. But there is something else that can dull this greatest day of the Christian calendar. The older we get and the longer we suffer the pains of life, the harder it can be to see how this unexpected event we call Resurrection radically transforms our lives, the world, and reality itself.
We Christians need to be reminded now and then that God loves us so much that he gave up his one and only son for us. Jesus Christ battled death and the Evil One on the cross and in the tomb. He then emerged victorious on Sunday, Resurrection Day, offering his very life to all who trust in him. The promise of Easter is not just the promise of life after death, but a victorious life that begins today, a life that encompasses the fullness of life we see in Christ Jesus.
God not only offers us Jesus but everything we need for life and godliness.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all– how will he
not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 NIV)
The message of Easter is a message of hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances. No matter the physical, emotional, or spiritual hurt, habit, or hangup, there always hopes in Christ both in this life and the next. If the
Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, we can trust
that this same Spirit will bring life where there is death, light where there is darkness, and hope where we have lost hope.