I've always loved Easter. What little girl doesn't love getting a new Easter dress? And candy (especially chocolate!) is always good. And spring is my absolute favorite time of the year. Flowers start to bloom and birds sing outside my window again.
None of those are the real reason to celebrate Easter, though. In my journey closer to Christ, I've started trying to re-live Easter through the eyes of the people involved in the story that we all mourn and celebrate.
So I spend Friday being Mary as she looks up at her mutilated, humiliated Son dragging Himself up on mangled hands and feet for another gasp of air. And Peter overflowing with grief when he realizes he's done exactly what he thought he was strong enough to never do. I think of the average townspeople who must have wondered what was going on when the temple curtain was torn and the earth shook and people they knew were dead were now walking around Jerusalem. What did the parents tell their children about the Man who had welcomed them to sit and play with Him when they saw him hanging, dying for all to see?
I miss the Tenebrae Service at Faith this year because it gave me a quiet chance to sit and meditate on the death of Jesus and what He did for me. (Not that I ever got to actually sit through an entire service. Last year all three of the girls started screaming during communion...)
Saturday I think about the disciples huddling in their hole, too numb and afraid to move. Jesus was their life. They embraced Him as God. Can God die??? They must've questioned everything. And wondered, "What on earth will we do now?"
And then the JOY of Sunday! Although the Jesus' followers were probably more confused at first. Worship and adoration and fear must've raced through their hearts.
I think many of us live in Saturday. Terrible things happen in this world, to us and those we love and strangers on the other side of the world, and we have no answers. We question God just like the disciples must have. We hide in holes of depression, wondering "Why?"
The only hope for any of these questions is to look to the glory of the resurrection and the HOPE of Jesus' return. Just like the disciples, though, we don't get answers on Saturday.
Just for fun, here's one of my favorite Easter songs. This is by Keith and Kristyn Getty. I love their music! Their words are wonderful, and I love Kristyn's voice. Ok, so it might be partly the accent... =) But pay attention to the words!
And here's another one!
I'd better quit. I have too many songs I love... =)