By Emmy McKirgan
The long road to recovery, the hard facts of anxiety and depression. The lonely nights, the hard-to-understand fate that has befallen you, the job loss, the spouse who walked away, the pain of losing friends, loved ones and so much more. Life can be difficult. Life can be hard to handle.
In the world we live in there are many troubles. Jesus agreed with us. “In this world you will have many troubles, but take comfort I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
You may wonder, why bring up all this trouble, hard times and difficulties in life? After all, Easter should be a time of celebration. And it is! Don’t be misled by my preamble. The person who feels such pain and hardship, like the apostle Paul, also knows the joy of salvation. The amazing power of the cross.
It’s like the story of the woman who poured an alabaster jar of perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her tears and her hair. She was forgiven much, and in turn, she perceived the forgiveness and redemption, that much more. Jesus offered her something she had been seeking all her life. He offered her freedom from the shame and pain of her past. She understood the enormity of his offer. Do we? Do we realize what it cost Him to set us free?
The cross is not just a symbol for Christians. It is the hard truth about Jesus laying down his life for you and me. It is the pain endured – physically, emotionally and spiritually. He took all the sin of humanity upon his shoulders. He did what no one has been able to do. To be the ultimate mediator between fallen humanity and a holy God. The thing is, there had to be a Friday before there was Sunday. That’s parallel to our own lives. We endure hardship and pain, but when joy comes..it is all-encompassing! It gives us reason to go on, to keep trying, to keep on keeping on.
Easter is not just another story – rather it is the STORY! Without Easter Sunday, Jesus would have just been a prophet like others before him. He would have died and his story would be just that – a story – a fable – a fairytale. BUT he didn’t stay in the grave. NO on the third day he rose! He rose and he went and claimed for us all the treasures God had planned for us from the beginning of the world.
The Easter story brings with it HOPE! Hope for a brighter future, amidst the pain of your current situation. It brings revival in the deep recesses of our hearts, a yearning for something more, something outside of ourselves. It brings the joy that can only come from being forgiven, set free, redeemed, and sanctified.
During this time of uncertainty for so many people – we need to grasp onto something that will help us through! Something that will bring with it hope, joy and peace. The problem is the things we often grasp for, like money, material possessions, achievement, working harder and longer and the like – are fleeting – they don’t amount to anything, They don’t fill that God-shaped hole inside each person’s heart.
It’s not something we need more of. It’s someone! That someone is Jesus! He is the only answer to our darkness, to our fears, hopelessness. He can and will redeem and restore all that has been stolen. It may not be like you imagined it, it may take longer than you want, but He will do it! He will give you the hope you desire. The love that you need. He is waiting to take you in, to comfort you, to bring healing salve to your body, mind and soul. He is the reason we celebrate Easter! He is RISEN!
Thanks for reading!
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“Consequently, faith comes from hearing
the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
~ Romans 10:17