April 4, 2021
Think of a time when you thought all was lost when suddenly everything changed. In an instant you went from utter despair to unspeakable joy. There was the 1980 U. S. Hockey team and the ‘Miracle On Ice.” There was the hallowed Kirk Gibson’s improbable game winning home run, leading the Dodgers to the 1988 Major League Baseball Championship and the call, “I don’t believe what I just saw!”
In history there was our own victory over England in our “War of Independence.” In the Old Testament was David’s shocking slaying of the Philistine giant and champion, Goliath.
Yet none of them are in the same realm as the story of Easter. He was more than their teacher, their leader, or even their Savior. He was their everything. He was Emmanuel, (‘God with us’) come to earth to make all things right.
They committed their lives to Him and now He was dead and buried. He had been betrayed, arrested, abandoned, humiliated, tortured and crucified. Their dreams were dashed, their lives shattered and their very existence threatened.
Three days after His death they huddled in fear behind locked doors in the upper room. Then it happened. The women arrived from the tomb with unbelievable news. Peter and John raced to the place and return confirming the women’s story. That night He appeared in the flesh, to them all. Just like that, their dreams were fulfilled, their lives had meaning again and their future was bright. Jesus had risen and there was joy!
Then there is us. For over a year our life has been a struggle, our world has been turned upside down and our faith shaken. Yet through it all Christ has been there for us. Easter reminds us that our Lord conquered sin and death. His resurrection guaranteed us everlasting life if we just believe.
Sing ‘Alleluia’ (means Praise the Lord) and shout for joy! Jesus is risen! Our God loves us unconditionally and completely, with all of our imperfections.
As we wore ashes to begin Lent, let us wear a smile of Easter Joy today!
Patrick J. Perkins