Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Drama

This has been a significant Easter. A season, a weekend, that has altered my perspective by reminding me that we are all living, not a mundane, meaningless existence, but in a drama that began before creation and reached its most critical point two thousand years ago.

It is the story of Life and Death.

Last month an old friend of mine died of cancer at a young age. She was part of my church family, one of those people who first opened my eyes to Jesus in all His reality and glory. (I wrote an article after her death called "Fallen Flower," which you can read here.) Then, just a few days before the holidays began, one of my cousins died in the womb. Her name was Annie Marie Grace, and I spent part of Good Friday beside her grave, mourning alongside the family. I have walked close to Death this Easter. I have been reminded of its reality and of its inevitability.

Perhaps because of this, I have been unusually aware of the condition of being alive. Spring has come here in Ontario, and the cool air, the rain and the gentle sunshine, the flowers and the newly budding trees, all emanate one message: "You're alive!" I am alive, and I feel it. The sense overwhelms me with gratitude. I can sing; I can smile; I can love. I'm alive. On the same day that I attended the burial of my baby cousin, I also met the five-week-old son of another cousin. So precious. I am awed at God's handiwork. Yes, yes, we're alive. Sorrow and celebration alike proclaim it.

And yet... many of us fail at life. God has given us a gift, something inexpressibly amazing. Yet we exist without purpose, without meaning, squandering life on our own selfish lusts. A pitiful race we are. The Westminster Confession says it well. We were created "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." We did, once. But the drama took an unexpected turn. A villain entered. Man sinned, and Death entered the world. Death, that turns all of life into vanity.

And so, two thousand years ago, God created a new Man. And He lived. Jesus Christ lived with all the brilliance and glory of one filled with the Father. He was everything man was meant to be. He was more. He came so that we might cease to merely exist and truly Live as He lived. He said "I am the Life." He said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Like glorious spring in a human body the Son of God overturned the long winter of sin and darkness. He set the captives free.

Ah, but man loved darkness. The shadows of Good Friday fell. Death conquered Him. He was convicted by lies, cruelly murdered, buried.

You know the story. I'm not telling you anything new. But I want to remind you, because it's your story, and mine. Because our fates were decided over the course of three days long ago when Death buried Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ rose again. Let this season alter your perspective. Be reminded of what was accomplished for you in the life of this Man.

He came to give life. Abundant life; life with meaning. He conquered Death. When He rose, everything changed. The grave is no longer the end. It is a stepping-stone. No longer can this precious gift of life be snatched away from us. Instead, it is enriched, it is fulfilled, it is made real and brilliant and eternal.

I heard it many times this past weekend: the ancient greeting of Christians who rejoice in what He has done.

He is risen.

He is risen indeed.

* * *

My first book, Lord, Teach Us to Pray, can be purchased here.

1 Comments:

Blogger C. H. Green said...

Remembering you in your time of sorrow.

4:46 PM  

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