I grew up in a Christian home and have been familiar with the Easter story since childhood, but it wasn’t until last year that I discovered what Easter means for me personally.
Last Easter, my thoughts were not on the glory of Jesus’ resurrection, the triumph of good over evil, or even the bright morning dawning outside my window. Just one week earlier, my best friend had phoned me with the sad news that her father had suddenly passed away during the night. My mind was still reeling with shock and grief. How could a life slip away so abruptly, with no time for last words or goodbyes? I thought about the grandchildren who will grow up never knowing their grandfather, my friend who will no longer have a dad’s support and advice, and the widow who would miss her husband’s loving presence.
As I read a Bible study on Easter that detailed Jesus’ last hours, crucifixion, and resurrection, it struck me that the death of the Savior must have seemed to His friends and disciples like the worst thing that could have happened. Yet it was transformed into the most wonderful miracle imaginable: Christ’s triumph over death. If hope emerged from such a terrible event, can that hope still be found today? I thought of my hurting friend. Where was the hope in that tragic and untimely death?
My eyes fell on a Bible verse: “God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation.”1 As I reflected on those words, I realized that the miracle of Easter did not end 2,000 years ago with Jesus’ resurrection. It has continued on, carrying a message of living hope through the ages and into the 21st century.
Regardless of how dark things look today, a glorious dawn is approaching. When Jesus prepared to leave His disciples, He left them with the promise that because He lives, they (and we) will live also.2
Easter is not meant to only be a day of remembrance that comes around once a year, but a living hope in our hearts all year round. As surely as the sun rises every morning, we can leave behind whatever sorrow or pain we are facing and rise again with renewed faith and comfort in the eternal love of God.