Snapshot #1: Standing on the corner of a busy city intersection. The sun is blocked by high buildings and shade trees. I shiver from an early spring breeze, pulling the sign in my hands closer to my body. A woman leans out the window: “Are you standing here against abortion? You are in the wrong place – don’t you know this is Planned Parenthood?” She pulls away before I can answer – Yes, I know I am standing in a place marked by death and the defeat of life. I am here for the lives quickly ended like little lights that were never given an opportunity to shine.
Snapshot #2: Standing in a tranquil forest peering beyond an iron gate to Thomas Jefferson’s grave. Though it is mid-day, large trees keep this spot ever shaded. Two little boys beside me eagerly run up, clutching nickels in their fingers. “Thomas Jefferson is right there!” one of them exclaims impressively. Yes, here is the stone to mark a great life, in a few moments I will walk the gardens the president tended and stand in the hall where other great men from around the world waited to speak with him. But no one waits there now, expecting Mr. Jefferson to step out of the library. He will not be coming, because he is not really here.
Snapshot #3: On my hands and knees picking up a thousand shards of broken glass. In a clumsy moment, a lamp was knocked off the table, the bulb hitting hard against a chair and shattering at my feet. The light snuffed out can’t be restored. Simply flipping a switch or plugging in a cord can’t bring it back. Even if I carefully and perfectly re-glue every piece of glass back into its original place, there is no way I could bring back the bulb’s ability to shine. Anyway, the glass has shattered so completely there is no way I will be able to find every speck hidden in the plush carpet.
Life is so fragile. It must have seemed that way to the disciples kneeling broken-hearted at the foot of the cross and to the women coming to a tomb to mourn their Master’s death. Hope –for a fleeting moment, a bursting song of joy – was now silent as the grave.
And yet…Jesus. Jesus does not stay silent when darkness and death happen – even when they happen to him. He does not stay hanging on a cross or behind a stone-sealed tomb. No, He enters in and breaks through – a gleaming shaft of light in a dark room, a spring of water bursting out of dry ground. He came to earth and here spilt His blood, leaving it forever changed.
Jesus changes all of it. Jesus changes all of me.
He, the Holy Son of God, became fragile and broken just like me, sharing in all the pain and grief of humanity, so I could share in the transformation of His resurrection. All things made new. I no longer need to keep on sinning because sin’s power over me has been vanquished. I don’t suffer alone because Jesus has borne the full weight of my sufferings. I have a hope and a purpose for my life because eternity has been secured by my risen, reigning Savior.
“Amazing love, how can it be? That God should plunge the knife in His heart for me — all the while, me, dry and indifferent, cool and detached. That He, the God of life, should conquer death by embracing it. That He should destroy the power of sin by letting it destroy Him”
- Joni Eareckson Tada
How grateful I am that Jesus did not leave me where I was – alone, broken and helpless. How grateful I am that He did not stay where He was, but is right here!
Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ! Not the deadliest, most condemning sin; not the most painful suffering, not the solitude of death or the darkness of the tomb. Nothing can sever my tie to the One “who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Romans 8:34). In Him, because of Him, there are no moments in my life that His resurrection does infiltrate. Even death holds no sting – to live is Christ, to die is gain! I am resurrected to a new life.
To know the Savior is to be made complete. Made alive. Made joyous. He is risen!