So many people have said it so much better than I can. But, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to jump in and say it all again – less eloquently perhaps, but no less heartfelt.
I’m not really sure where we go from here. On Friday I talked about entering into the pathos of Jesus’ death. Sunday is supposed to be a day of joy and awe. He is ALIVE! Jesus, who was dead, is dead no more. He lives. He breathes. The heart that grew still and cold beats once more. The blood that thickened in his veins now runs warm and fast. His toes crinkle. He sneezes. His chest rises and falls. He begins to sweat and itch and be hungry and thirsty. It’s too much for me to take in.
Why is that? I think it’s because I want it to be true so badly. But, I am afraid of getting hurt. I am afraid of fully committing to this belief because I fear what it will try and draw out of me. I hesitate and hem and haw and commit to it 80 percent… Keeping that bit in reserve so I can try and keep my heart safe. I want Jesus’ ressurection to be true. I believe it is. But I can’t imagine what it looks like… I can’t imagine Jeferson standing up, laughing his laugh and smiling his smile and singing with his voice, and being stubborn and a brat and angry and hurt and tired and cold and happy and joyful and just so fully himself. I want to. But that hope seems so far away. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see my mom walk into the room again – to hear her laugh with her entire body, to see the love in her eyes, to have her put her arms around me and feel like a little child again – to grin when she gets frustrated again, and be sad when I’ve dissappointed her and to have her be her old self, before she got sick – to hear her scream when Dad would throw her in the water or watch her glow with righteous indignation and action when the poor, abandoned, and weak were left without an advocate, and were abused and exploited and taken advantage of… Oh, to see them again.
But all we were left with is memories. Only their absence is present. Until that day when Jesus came back to life, defeating death. Two thousand years ago, something changed. The disciples, who cowered in numb broken fear, received the scare of their lives. Their hope was dead. But all of a sudden, everything changed… He’s alive. He’s alive!
And in that hope of his resurrection, we know that death has been defeated. There is hope, not only for the life to come, but for this life now! His eternal, Kingdom life fills us in the here and now, transforming us into something beautiful – flawed and broken, yet being repaired – becoming who we were born to be… Becuase of Him we have hope. Becuase of who Jesus is – his beauty, his life, his death, his resurrection, his promises – we have hope. Because of him, everything has changed. And there’s no going back to the way things used to be.
In celebration of Easter, I want to post the lyrics to one of my oldest favorite Easter songs. I remember listening to it when I was a child, and it never failed to run chills down my spine. It’s kind of long, and a bit cheesy, so you don’t have to read it… but it does hold a special place in my heart, and if you ask super nicely, I’ll sing it for you next time we’re together, if you really want me to… =) Here it is –
He’s Alive! – Don Francisco
The gates and doors were barred, and all the windows fastened down,
I spent the night in sleeplessness and rose at every sound,
Half in hopeless sorrow, half in fear that day
Would find the soldiers breakin’ through to drag us all away.
And just before the sunrise I heard something at the wall.
The gate began to rattle and a voice began to call.
I hurried to the window, looked down into the street,
Expecting swords and torches and the sound of soldiers’ feet.
There was no one there but Mary so I went down to let her in.
John stood there beside me as she told me where she’d been.
She said “They’ve moved Him in the night and none of us knows where.
The stone’s been rolled away now His body isn’t there!”
We both ran toward the garden. Then John ran on ahead.
We found the stone and empty tomb just the way that Mary said,
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in was just an empty shell,
And how or where they’d taken Him was more than I could tell.
Well something strange had happened there, just what I did not know.
John believed a miracle, but I just turned to go.
Circumstance and speculation couldn’t lift me very high
‘Cause I’d seen them crucify him, and I saw him die.
Back inside the house again, the guilt and anguish came.
Everything I’d promised Him just added to my shame,
When at last it came to choices I denied I knew His name.
And even if He was alive, it wouldn’t be the same.
But suddenly the air was filled with a strange and sweet perfume.
Light that came from everywhere drove shadows from the room.
Jesus stood before me with his arms held open wide,
And I fell down on my knees and just clung to Him and cried.
He raised me to my feet, and as I looked into His eyes
Love was shining out from Him like sunlight from the skies.
Guilt and my confusion dissappeared in sweet release,
And every fear I’d ever had hust melted into peace.
He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive and I’m forgiven!
Heaven’s gates are open wide!
He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s ALIVE!!!!!