I sat around a table with college students this past week. It was windy and cool on campus as we shuffled into the room. I love this room adjacent to the dining commons because we sit at a circle table. I have a thing for circle tables. Everyone can make eye contact well with everyone else. We checked in with each other about our hearts, our bodies and our spirits.
When it got to be my turn I told them my heart felt heavy. I locked eyes with a few of them as I explained some of the bad news, hard headlines, and unexpected prayer requests from the week prior.
I just need some good news. I said. Everyone nodded and couple verbally agreed.
But hey, Easter is coming. What is better news than that?
It felt a little flat, a little forced, a little churchy and ‘right-answer-ish’ coming out. But in my heart I believed myself. In that slight, sand-slipping moment, I believed that every broken piece of my burdened heart would eventually be okay. Because of Easter.
I took the girls to get smoothies this morning and as I used the entirety of my body weight to maneuver the Costco cart up and down aisles the bright, orangey-pink tulips smiled at me. I smiled back, took in their scent and placed all fourteen stems next to the berries. Spring and Easter work together to do things in my heart that winter and Christmas never could. Christmas makes us hold our breath in wonder, but Easter makes us exhale the greatest spiritual sigh of relief man can let out.
We see the brutality of Good Friday and think of the horror, confusion, heart-numbing and head-shaking status of our world today. We are scared. And want to pretend it’s not there.
We sit in the silence of Holy Saturday, unsure what to do, where to help, how to hope or who can actually be trusted to ever make things right. We are overwhelmed. So we end up doing nothing.
But then Sunday. Oh Sunday. Like a day of sun: radiant, warm and something that feels too good to last. We step into Sunday with the heartsickness of Friday, and the paralysis of Saturday and are shocked into life. Never has a plan for the saving of the world been so creative. So unexpected. So not about us.
Yep. It’s Done. Jesus told us.
But wait, Lord. What do we do to make this world better?
Okay, I heard you say that, but things look pretty bad- are you sure you don’t need me to…
It. Is. Finished.
The finished work of Christ on Easter Sunday is about Him. It’s His day. His sacrifice. His power. His Plan. It has worked, is working and will continue to work.
So we get to go out and do in the name of what has been done.
Easter is so much more than jelly beans and pastels. It is our emancipation day. Freedom from sin. From death. And ultimately- freedom from ourselves.
And that makes me want to feast and sing.