“Jesus said to [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25
“Don’t be alarmed,” [the angel] said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6
Easter Sunday in 1984 was April 22. The previous week, Palm Sunday, I arrived at church full of nervous anticipation of the fast-approaching due date of our firstborn. He died the next day.
We lived in Austria where there is a lovely tradition of hand-painted Easter eggs that are hung on the branches of pussy-willows just beginning to bud with new life. As I lay alone in the hospital (my husband was out of the country at the time), unable to even pray, the families in our church brought me hand-painted Easter eggs instead of flowers, as a tribute not only to our sorrow, but as a tribute to life! Life embodied in the tradition we call Easter, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Celebrating the promise of life that He alone offers. Celebrating hope. Celebrating an unfathomable love.
Every year I get out my precious Easter egg tribute and remember the moment God the Father spoke into the heart of a grieving young mother on Resurrection Sunday, “I understand the loss of a son. I grieve with you. My Son also died. But, Audrey, today HE IS ALIVE!”
Death does not have the last word; life does. The celebration that began with the greatest sorrow, when the heart of God was broken, is the one that brings the greatest joy. The excruciating crucifixion of the sinless Son of God, bringing about the greatest miracle: “He is not here!” I set up my Easter eggs today. Remembering.
Prayer of Response:
Rejoice: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)
—Submitted by Audrey Jose