Words cannot describe the joy I feel on this Resurrection Day. Yesterday, there were thoughts and emotions burning in my heart and mind. And what is amazing, some of those same ideas were discussed in our services today. Funny how God works.
For most of yesterday, I could not escape this thought and question, "How did they feel?" How would it have felt to be those that watched Him breathe His last? Hearing Him cry, "It is finished".
Can you imagine the hopelessness? Can you imagine the disbelief? He was supposed to be the Messiah. He was their promise of rescue. Yet He hung in seemingly shame and humiliation.
The day in between...in the meantime...
He had told them He must die first, then it would happen. He would enter glory, and reign forever. He told them He would leave peace with them. He promised them He would return. He said to not be afraid, He has overcome.
If you look back at the scriptures, you will see that He really perfectly laid it out. He promised.
Yet the skies turned dark, it was finished and all seemed lost.
That day in between had to be one of the darkest days for His followers. Can you imagine the doubt, and despair...the confusion?
Did they forget His promises? Did they forget He told them this would happen? Why the disbelief? How could they not stand in confidence in that time between His death and His resurrection? Why were they not waiting in anticipation for Him to fulfill His promise?
I can imagine the feelings in small part. You see, in a way that's where we live now. The days in between...waiting in the meantime... It's what we fight each day. He has gone into glory, He resides with the Father. And we are here, left in this dark world. Evil seemingly reigns, despair and hopelessness regularly knocks on our door. We live in hard times. Tragedy on every corner, sickness and disease run rampant, brokenness remains our constant companion. And we wonder. All seems lost...
He promises us He will return. He has promised us victory. He gives us His grace, peace, mercy, and more. We know He overcame the grave, and that one day death will be no more. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no sickness or pain. Sadness will be a distant memory, and joy will reign eternally. Our fight will be over, and we will live eternally with our great and mighty King.
Yet, like His followers, we forget His promises. We forget He has prepped us for this fallen world. He told us it would be this way. All we can feel and see at times is the discouragement that we face and what we have lost. We question, we doubt, we become confused at His purposes and plans...and we ask, "where are you, God?"
We live our lives "in the meantime". In the world of between the dark nights and the final victory. Yet, because of His death and resurrection - I can still have LIFE and VICTORY...even in the waiting of the meantime.
So, you see, that's why I feel this indescribable joy today. That is why I cannot help but be exuberant in my worship and praise of our risen King. I can't help, but shout, He is victorious!! He has made me new, He has restored me, forgiven me, healed me...made me whole.
Easter Sunday burns this anew in my heart. It reminds me that He has overcome, and He will complete His work in me and in you. We may be living in the difficult meantime, but the resurrection reminds us that there will come a day when death and evil will once and for all be defeated. And that until He returns, because of His death and resurrection, we can live with joy and victory even in the dark days of the "in between". Easter reminds us of His promises, it refreshes us, gives us renewed hope.
We need to remember His promises, and wait in anticipation for His return.
We have only tasted the joy that His followers experienced when they realized His promise had been fulfilled, and they were standing face to face with the Messiah. Just think of what it will be like when we see Him face to face, and are welcomed in eternity.
No matter what you face today, walk in the joy of the risen and soon returning King!