Life. Most days it doesn’t even cross my mind how little control we as humans have over life. We go about planning our busy schedules, and death does not seem to fit in the picture. Somehow we come to feel as if we are keeping ourselves alive. Yet if Elohim, our Creator, was not at every second sustaining us, we would not live.
It is He who speaks life into existence: “In the beginning, Elohim created heaven and earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
It is He who sustains life according to His purpose: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:3)
Easter is a holiday celebrated in the spring – spring, which is symbolic of life. Traditionally, Christians celebrate the death of Christ on Good Friday and the life of Christ on Easter Sunday. “It’s Friday…but Sunday is coming.” Though sorrow and grief cover like a dark veil, joy is coming.
On that first Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary approached the tomb in grief. The One they thought would be their Savior and King had died – a brutal and gruesome death. Mourning and preparing to say goodbye, what a shock for them to find that Jesus was no longer dead, but alive!
What a different shock my family and I experienced yesterday on Easter Sunday. After a normal morning routine, we found our sweet golden retriever Sadie Rose lying lifeless in the yard. There is no other explanation for the cause of her death – her heart simply stopped. Life was taken from her. Life. The Sustainer of life gave her to us as a gift when we needed her. By His word, now she is gone. How does this connect with Easter Sunday? How can we find joy in life when our hearts are broken with such grief in death?
Somehow there is a connection between death and life.
“There is a higher Throne than all this world has known…
And there we’ll find our home, our life before the Throne.
We’ll honor Him in perfect song where we belong.
He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye, as thirst and hunger die.
The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King; we’ll reign with Him.”
(Keith and Kristyn Getty)
Death is not the end. “On this mountain God will remove the veil of grief covering all people and the mask covering all nations. He will swallow up death forever. Adonay Yahweh will wipe away tears from every face, and He will remove the disgrace of His people from the whole earth.” (Isaiah 25:7-8)
Christ’s sacrifice of death on the cross was not complete until He conquered death by coming back to life. His death satisfied the wrath of God, but His life completed the punishment that we deserve. Our sins are paid for. It is finished – because of Christ’s resurrected life. Easter eggs and bunnies may symbolize life, but the Resurrection symbolizes life from death, and that is so much more powerful.
On earth we are still covered with a veil of grief. We face the darkness of night. But night does not last forever. If we truly believe that God can turn death into life, we know that a day is coming when all our current earthly darkness and sorrow and grief will be turned into joy.
In our new home, “the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
The Lord God Almighty will be our light. “The city’s gates will be open all day. They will never close because there will be no night there.” (Revelation 21:25)
Hallelujah! Yahweh our Elohim has the power to turn night into day, grief into joy, death into life!