Easter Joy Comes in the Morning!

“Easter says you can put truth in the grave, but it won’t stay there”–Clarence W. Hall

Today is the day that continually reminds us that death does not have the last word but that God does. In the midst of our own struggles, there are days that we cannot even comprehend that death does not have the last word but that God does especially when we sit with those we love and say goodbye to them. We find ourselves overcome by darkness looking for even just that little bit of light. We find ourselves looking for the hope that we have lost. But today Easter reminds us to hang on and to trust in this one who overcomes death in the grave. “Resurrection announces that whatever way death, despair, and destruction have got you in their grip, they do not have the last word (Rob Bell).”

There are days that I am mightly aware of how death, despair and destruction have me in their grip. And I am sure there are days you are mightly aware too. There are days I desperately yearn to be a wife and mom. There are days I desperately wonder if God hears my prayers. Yet, even in that despair, I want to cling to the promise that we proclaim today; “Jesus Christ is risen today! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

One of the things I love about Easter is continually being reminded of the joy that comes on Easter morning. I watched as the group I am taking to the national youth gathering this summer served breakfast this morning. I watched as the kids excitedly found Easter eggs as part of our egg hunt. I listened as the fanfare of my favorite Easter hymns were sung. I found myself realizing how this day reminds me again and again of what Christ did for me.

But again we cannot experience the joy of Easter without first experiencing Jesus’ seven last words. We cannot experience it without standing at the foot of the cross as his hands and nails are nailed to the cross. There are times, in my life, that I find myself guilty of holding that very hammer. We cannot experience it without hearing Jesus’ utter his last words, “It is finished.” And we cannot experience it without seeing him laid into the tomb.

Then today we come to the tomb like Mary and the others finding the stone rolled away and Jesus’ body gone. I cannot imagine what it was like to come that day and not see Jesus laying there because the dead are not supposed to leave. Dead is dead! But that is the thing, my friends, when death, and despair, and destruction think they have the tightest, most unbearable grip on us, God shows up and shows us that death in no way has the last word but that God does.

Last night as I read one of my favorite Psalms (Psalm 30: verse 5) “Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes in the morning” it took on a whole new meaning for me. For it is in Christ’s death, that we weep; weep with Mary and all those who loved him but then we come on Easter morning and see with our own eyes that joy especially Easter joy does come in the morning.

Mourning into Dancing (Ben Larson)
(Click on the link above to hear this version of Psalm 30)

Linking up with Anita at Blessed but Stressed for Inspire Me Monday

It is Good!

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Good.” Write for five minutes; unedited.

God created the light and called it day and created the dark and called it night. Then he said, “It is good.” And on the 7th day God looked at the world God created and said again “It is good.” Then God rested.

Later God sent God’s son into the world to die on a cross for our sins. But what is good about this day in which the crown of throwns is placed upon his head? What is good about Jesus breathing his last? What is good about Jesus just the day before sitting silent among his accusers and washing his disciples feet knowing that some of them would soon betray him? I don’t know about you but I have a hard time finding good as I stand and watch my savior crucified on our behalves.

But the thing is God loves us so much that God sent his Son into the world. But then on the third day, God reminds us of the good God has when God raises Jesus from the dead. It is good when the women come to the tomb and find the stone has been rolled away. It is good when we see that “Easter says you can put truth in a grave but it won’t stay there (Clarence W Hall).” It is good when we find the holy hopeful found in the Easter promise. It is good when we cling to the love of this one who gave his son for us. It is good when we come and can triumphantly proclaim “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”