It's been almost four months since I've posted anything, and I'm currently working on several posts to fix that. But a beautiful thought struck me during our Easter service today, and I want to quickly record it.
Those who followed Jesus during His mortal ministry knew Him to be invincible. They had seen Him command raging winds and mountain waves into stillness. They'd watched Him give full function to the disabled, heal leprosy with a touch, even raise the dead with a word.
They had been waiting for this Messiah their whole lives, yet He was so much more than they expected! Did they look forward with awe to that prophesied day when He would marshall His followers into an unstoppable force to drive out their enemies and redeem the land? Who could stand against an army led by someone with His kind of power? He was, Himself, stronger than any army.
So what did it mean to them when He was taken, crucified and killed? When the soldier pierced His side and water and blood gushed out? When they took His body off the cross, and He was, indeed, lifeless and cold?
How was it possible? What had broken His power?
Might they have wondered if it was betrayal by His friends? Did they look, not only at Judas, not only at Simon, but each at his or her own stumbling practice and wandering heart and fear that their faltering faith had failed Him? Did they conclude that the prophecies could not now be fulfilled because they themselves had proven unworthy?
He was gone. Hope was dead. End of story.
And then He rose.
We say He broke the bands of death, but it was more than that. He also broke despair. Our failures, our darkest nights, our earned defeats are not the end; they're just the prelude to redemption.
He is risen! Hope is here! Happy Easter!