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4.11.2009

Hope That Springs Eternal

It's late Saturday night and the world is quiet outside. I am sitting on our bed, thinking through the events of this week and the significance of tomorrow morning and I find myself clinging to one word...HOPE. After the darkest day in history, the day the sky went black, hope hung in the balance. On that Sunday morning, the first day of the week, it burst forth like nothing ever seen or known this side of Heaven. In the shadow of a tomb, the light of Heaven poured out and the pure and spotless lamb who was slaughtered on our behalf, was made whole again. Sin was conquered, evil was overcome. The one who came to save the lost, to proclaim freedom for the captives and to rescue mankind from the penalty of our sin, rose up from His grave and broke the chains of death forever.

I find myself stunned by the contrast between the hopelessness of Friday and the resurrection of Sunday. What would it have been like, to see the One who claimed to be the Son of God, nailed to a cross, defeated by mankind, and taken in death? How could those who loved Him, who believed Him, who walked with Him face the unraveling of all He came to do? As the lamb of God poured His blood out on the cross and the sky went black and the earth shook, what could they do but watch in disbelief and agony? I cannot imagine how they found rest for their weary souls on that night. Everything they thought He came to do for them, must have felt as if it was stolen away, robbed from their very grasp in just a matter of hours. Friday was not a day that was "good" by any stretch of the imagination. It was for them, without the benefit of hindsight, a tragedy that could not be understood. And I imagine Saturday must have come and gone in the same vein. It would have been the Sabbath, a day dictated by rest and no work. A day of mental torture as the previous events unfolded again and again in their minds. Dread, fear, horror, sorrow, disbelief, agony, mourning...It must have felt like a dream that couldn't be true. A nightmare they couldn't wake up from.

I imagine their hearts and minds were exhausted, overcome with thoughts and lies from the enemy. He seemed alive and well, reveling in his victory, cherishing the power God allowed him in those hours. but Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world...He laid in a tomb. They saw his last breath. They watched the blood and water pour from His side. They saw him hang, lifeless from a few nails. And they followed his body as it was placed in the side of a stone cave, sealed forever from their grasp. It must have been a whirlwind experience, dripping with hopelessness never known before or since. I cannot imagine the heaviness of their hearts on that night and on the day that followed. Where was God now? Why hadn't He called on those legions of angels He spoke of to rescue Him? Why would He allow them to speak lies about Him, to torture and kill Him, while He remained silent and willing in death? Why would let it all end this way?

The beauty of the story, as we know it some 2000 years later, is that He didn't let it end that way. In the early hours of that third day, HOPE dawned again. The light of Heaven, Jesus Christ, got up from those clothes and rose from death into life once more. He did what no man could ever do, or has ever done since. He broke the chains of death, He conquered sin, He paid the price we deserved to pay for a penalty we could not overcome. For me. For you. For anyone who would believe. And He did it because He loved us, even before we ever loved Him back. That's real HOPE. That's the miracle of Easter. When all was lost on the cross, He saved the day from the grave. 

I long to lay down this week and all that it has meant, for me, for Jesus, for mankind. I am grateful for the ultimate sacrifice my Savior made, for the blood He shed so that my sins would be paid for, covered. But my hope is not in His death. My hope is in His life. Anyone can die, even for another. But no one can raise to life again. No one can offer the kind of Hope that springs Eternal. No one but Jesus. No one but the Lamb of God.

I can't wait to wake up in the morning and soak in the light of Heaven, in the miracle of Easter. I wish you a very blessed day, a day that brings you much hope, no matter how hopeless today has left you. Sunday is coming! Happy Easter to you and to me.

He is risen!! He is risen indeed!!

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Good words. My favorite part of the Tiny Bear Bible is at the end when it says, "Jesus is risen, he's risen it's true. And now though we die, we'll live with him too. Leap and sing and dance Tiny Bear!" Even before his first birthday, Kaelem would see that happy picture of the bear and give a little shout of glee. :)

petrii said...

Stephanie,
I love that our hope is found in His life; hope that springs eternal ~~ Hallelujah!!! What a great post on this lovely Easter. (weather is yuck, but God is so good).

Love you dear friend ~~ hoping and praying for a baby this week =)
Dawn

MiMi said...

Thank you, Lord, for the miracle of Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

What a great post, Stephanie. I hope that you and your family had a blessed Easter celebrating the risen Lord!

Praying for you this week and can't wait for the big news!

Heather said...

Praising Him for the miracle of Easter today!

Alexandra's Mommy said...

Happy Easter! I hope Ava comes soon :)