I found a dead leaf on a walk the other day. Something about it drew me–the beauty even in death. I brought it home and set it beside some more green and living things and have lived in fascination ever since.
I’m mesmerized by what the seasons already know: death occurs before new life is ushered in. Everywhere we look are life and death co-existing side by side and we’re drawn to them–both of them. There’s a reason for that. It’s telling us something.
I’ve struggled to write anything that would be halfway meaningful this week. Something that would adequately describe the emotion I feel about what this week represents. I’d almost settled on nothing because, the truth is, I can’t. No words will ever articulate how I feel about my Savior dying so I might live.
I won’t beat myself up about that. Instead, I’ll live in the grace and mystery of that.
Perhaps it’s best to stick with what’s already been written when women came to a tomb and found no one in the place where he’d been laid: “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
His Father’s plan included death, but it never included his Son staying trapped in a tomb forever. He has risen; he is not here are in Mark’s account. Luke’s includes this question: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
I know it, but I still need reminding: Jesus will go to the dark places of death to redeem us but he won’t stay there for long. His is the land of the living and, through him and by him, mine is too.
Don’t seek the living among the dead. Don’t go back to your old, dead places. Awaken to the new life he has for you. Leave the tomb, everyday if you have to. Leave it behind: the fear, the shame, the mirage of safety and comfort, the staying still. Leave all that behind and go.
Walk among the living and follow your Jesus to the places you once thought dangerous and learn, along the way, he calls you out of what you thought were the safe, still, comfortable places to teach you that no one and nothing will be Your Safety except him.
For me, it’s only then–when I go–that I see what lay behind me in the rearview mirror was actually a tomb seeking to steal the life he died to give me.
Blessings to you and yours this Easter Sunday. May we all live everyday in both the mystery and reality of the resurrection.
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