While I certainly love Christmas and all the joy that goes with it, there’s just something about Easter that Christmas doesn’t have. I’m not talking about colored eggs, bunnies, and sugar-coated marshmallows. I’m not talking about the onset of warmer weather either. After all here in Cody, with the exception of this past Christmas, most of our Christmases have found us in T-Shirts and jeans and the doors of the house open.
I’m going to open up a little here (after all, this is my “personal” blog) and let you know that holidays are tough for me at this point in time. Perhaps part of it is that I have some self-imposed limits on what I can do for the next couple years or so while I work on getting those pesky things called debts eliminated. Thankfully, momentum is picking up and in April or May of this year, my parents will be my parents again (as opposed to being my lenders). Yet another struggle is that longing to have a bride to share the holidays with. Not that I’m not blessed in my current situation. I have Mom and Dad that I get to celebrate with, and since just before Mother’s Day of last year, I’ve had the Grandma I grew up with.
So this past Friday was Good Friday, the day commemorating the Lord’s crucifixion. I have often wondered what it must have been like to be one of Christ’s disciples on that day, and when the afternoon rolled around, all hopes were seemingly dashed away with the death of the One who promised Redemption. Granted, he was speaking of a spiritual redemption from the penalty of sin, not a political redemption, and I’m sure if I were there, I would have been just as caught up in the political aspects as the rest of the people were. I know, many of you find it hard to believe that I would be caught up in a political cause of sorts, but I’m just trying to honest and open about a hypothetical situation. Anyway, I thought of the description of what happened when the Lord died:
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the vail of the temple was rent in the midst. (Luke 23:44-45, KJV)
It must have been a sight to see three hours of darkness in the middle of the afternoon, not to mention everything else going on in reaction to the sins of the world–past, present, and future–being placed on the only begotten Son of God.
How empty Friday night and all of Saturday must have felt. But as was proclaimed in so many churches this morning, Praise God that the Lord didn’t stay dead and that the stone was rolled away. Not so that the Lord could get out, but so that anyone could look in and see, with the exception of the neatly folded grave clothes, the empty tomb.
Even then, some, like Thomas, still doubted until they saw the Resurrected Lord. So, the passage I’ve mulled over for the past few days is from 1 Corinthians 15, the Resurrection Chapter:
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead,(A) how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead,(B) then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that(C) he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and(D) you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who(E) have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only,(F) we are of all people most to be pitied.
(1 Cor. 15:12-19, ESV)
And therein lies the answer to my thoughts I posed at the beginning of this post.What makes Easter, Resurrection Sunday, just a little more favorite than Christmas? Celebrating my Savior conquering death and the grave. If he didn’t, what hope would anyone have?