The Miracle of Easter Sunday
"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:30) Jesus' journey had begun in a simple stable in the City of David thirty some years before. Now it was finished. It can’t end with this, can it?
For most these final words spoken by Jesus from the cross would seemingly have ended a ministry of great preaching, miraculous healing, connection to the down-and-outers of Israel, a good-riddance by the Pharisees and Sadducees, a hoped-for calm in Jerusalem for the Romans, but for the faithful, the best is yet to come.
Teresa and I have taken to watching Movies and Mysteries on the Hallmark Channel. In these movies, one immediately begins to wonder who the villain is that committed the crime. Typically, somewhere along the plot in the movie there is a plot twist, an “aha” moment, when something unexpected happens revealing the truth of the mystery.
The Easter outcome has a plot twist that can only be explained by words that Jesus, Himself, once spoke and recorded in Matthew 19:26: Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
On the surface, the story of Easter reveals a plot by the religious leaders of Jesus’ day to take down a rebel once and for all. As Jesus is handed over to the authorities, the picture that’s painted is that Caesar is king, his kingdom rules and the Roman cross would have the last say.
WE can say it shouldn’t or wasn’t supposed to happen the way that it did; however, Jesus knew His mission from the very beginning. And His mission did not end with His last breath from the cross, and it hasn’t ended today.
After the darkness of Friday as Jesus breathed His last. Waiting through the Sabbath when all hope was removed. And then to be startled on the third day, Easter Sunday morning, the miracle of all miracles occurs: Jesus is alive!
It’s easy to gloss over the Easter story — we’ve heard it so many times — and forget the surprise and shock of the resurrection. It’s easy to read through the Gospels without that “aha” moment it really delivers. It changed everything.
Easter reminds us that even though disagreement and injustice may run rampant at present — even though it appears that darkness is pervasive and final — we know God is working, that His love is greater and that resurrection is real. Through the brilliant light of the resurrection we can walk in newness of life.
This transformation through Christ is our twist in the story — our “aha” moment. Through Christ, we continue to live out the resurrection life today and our own lives. What Christ, our Savior started must continue as we live out the way, the truth, and the life.
So this Easter, relive the surprise ending; relive the story with a fresh passion for the genuine hope that we embrace. Relive the reality of a risen Lord and new life.