Intersecting Our Grief with Easter
Just how does the story of Jesus’ resurrection work when it intersects with our grief?
I don’t know how it works for you, but this is how it affects my grieving heart: it heals it.
Sitting in the Easter service, the pastor created a vivid word picture of a grave, once guarded by 100 soldiers, sealed by the Romans, and filled with the stench of blood and death mixed with spices. My mind wandered to a little grave in a county cemetery where our son rests. The resurrection story of Jesus is the hope of seeing our son again.
And so, because Jesus was resurrected, because the grave could not hold him in, because He lives, I have an unspeakable hope of the resurrected life of each loved one. The anticipation of holding our son and seeing his body restored to perfect health, being in a renewed body myself, with limitless energy, joy and fun takes me away in my imagination. And this is healing. Imagining the eternal future with our son heals my pain in the present world. None of this would be possible if Jesus had remained in the grave. Therefore, Easter—this celebration of new life—The Celebration of the King’s resurrected life is packed with promise, potential, future, hope and healing.
“We groan as we eagerly wait for our adoption, the freeing of our bodies from sin. We were saved with this hope in mind. If we hope for something we already see, it’s not really hope. Who hopes for what can be seen? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” God’s Word Translation. Romans 8: 23, 24, 25
This kind of “hope” that is spoken of here is NOT wishful thinking. It is confident trust. That trust is secure because Jesus came forth from the dead as our hope-filled example– not only for our lives, but for those we have laid to rest. Thank you, God for intersecting the healing message of Easter with my broken heart!
God sent his son,
They called Him Jesus,
He came to love, heal, and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
Bill & Gloria Gaither