I once knew a man whose death threw his entire life into question. The ugly circumstances forced me to wonder: How much of what I believed about him was a lie?
How many of his words were phony? How many kind deeds were merely conscience-purgers? Over two decades have passed since that man’s death, and I still wonder. His was a confusing, disappointing demise.
When Jesus died, it looked the same. But that was just on Friday…
The Question of Good Friday
The Friday we call “Good” was, in actuality, horrible. There was nothing good in an innocent Man’s crucifixion. Nothing good in an angry mob, demanding injustice at the top of its lungs. Nothing good about dashed hopes and crushed faith. Nothing good in a confusing, disappointing demise.
I cannot blame Jesus’ disciples for being unable to trace the ancient prophecies being fulfilled that day. Not in the midst of screaming hatred and cruelty and gore. None of it sounded or looked or smelled like God keeping His long-awaited promises.
One of the thieves being crucified beside Jesus laughed at the sign over His head declaring Him ‘King of the Jews.” He taunted Him, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”
It didn’t look like Jesus could save anybody, hanging there, helplessly, from a cross.
And the question kept echoing, “Aren’t you the Christ?”
What a sorrowful Sabbath Jesus’ bereaved followers must have kept the next day.
They had invested three years of their lives—leaving their livelihoods, traipsing all over the countryside, believing they were seeing miracles—all for naught. All those wonderful words Jesus had spoken . . . they had sounded so beautiful, before. Now they rang hollow. Their “Christ” had come to a confusing, disappointing demise.
So they rested on the Sabbath. (Because it’s what God’s people do. Just like God did, when His work was finished.) Staring blindly, they tried to deal with the emptiness. Tried to accept that they’d been dead wrong about Jesus.
Then . . . Resurrection
Sunday morning gave dead hope a heartbeat. The tomb was empty!
Jesus stood among them! They could touch His pierced hands, feet, side. He ate with them. They heard His voice. He was alive!
Like a brilliant sunrise, the light of His resurrection flooded back across His entire life, revealing all His words and deeds for what they were: truth.
They had once heard Him say, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Now they saw Him, saw the Resurrection. It was true.
When Jesus told a man, “Your sins are forgiven,” His listeners accused Him of blasphemy, saying, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But it was not blasphemy; it was true.
Jesus was indeed Emmanuel–God with us–the Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Easter Answers My Questions
Here–today–when life hurts, my breaking heart begs the question, “Does God really love me?”
Christ crucified says, “Yes, it’s true.”
When I stand beside the coffins of those I’ve loved, knowing they entrusted their lives to Jesus, I ask Him again, “Did Your blood really purchase forgiveness for their sins? Did you really give them eternal life?”
Christ resurrected says, “It’s true.”
When terrorists attack, famine spreads, economies fail; when Christians are martyred, children are abused, and corruption has a heyday—I pray through my tears, “Lord, are You still ruling? Will you ever return to judge this world?”
Jesus points to His crucifixion and His resurrection, and says, “Yes. Trust Me. I am true.”
…Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood… to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:5-8)
What life events cause you to question whether Christ can deliver on His promises?
In what way(s) does Easter answer your questions—or leave them unanswered?
If you are longing to know
you are forgiven by God
and destined to spend eternity with Him
here is good news for you!
He is Risen!
And that makes all the difference now.