The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” – Matthew 28:5-6
Today we celebrate the defeat of death, when Jesus Christ rose from the grave. When the disciples found an empty tomb. Resurrection Sunday. Easter. As followers of Jesus, we live with the hope and the knowledge of His resurrection each and every day of our lives.
Yesterday, while hanging out with some amazing people, I had a thought that made me pause and think: Despite everything they knew about Jesus the Nazarene, that day between the cross and the resurrection was the darkest moment for many of His disciples.
They had lost hope.
I think it is easy for us to be distracted by the expectations of this world and loose sight of the truth, that victory has already been won. Sometimes we get consumed by our own thoughts and get lost in the darkness of despair. We tend to wander from the path and are unable to find our way back.
Even when Jesus was missing from the tomb, some of the disciples didn’t believe. They didn’t understand. They doubted.
And yet, the Lord and King continued to pursue them and teach them about the Savior. He gave them new hope through His Spirit and continues to pursue us to this day.
Each time I have wandered, He has chased me down like the good shepherd to carry me back to the flock. Each time I have been lost to the darkness, He has blinded me with the love of a father and opened my eyes to the beauty of the struggles of this life and the hope of what is to come. And when the noise of this world becomes overwhelming, His voice breaks through as a whisper to remind me that I am His.
Today, we are reminded that this war has already been won. We remember that the Father has already paid the sacrifice for our sins and failures. Death has been defeated. And, through the Spirit of God that dwells within us, we are able to be in a relationship with the God who Knows Us.
Today is a celebration that continues throughout our entire lives. To trust in our Lord to light the path at our feet. To love as we have been loved. To forgive others and more importantly ourselves, just as we have been forgiven. To live a life that reflects our Fathers love for us.
I know that there will be days that are darker than others, but I also place my hope in something that is much bigger than I can ever dream to be. My hope is placed in the one who not only died for my sins on that cross when the temple veil was torn, but in the one who defeated death and adopted me into His family.