Death Has Been Swallowed Up in Victory

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I love Easter. I know it’s kind of crazy (and I have no problem admitting it, thank you very much) but I love it more than Christmas. In fact, the only thing that makes me sad about Easter is that I don’t feel this way every day. And NOT feeling this way every day is my own fault.

Regardless of your own views on religion, you have to admit that as far as I’m concerned, I’ve got it all. I am a child of God; I’m loved beyond all measure; He makes it so much easier to share that love with everyone; and I’m even going to live forever.

Even from a scientific standpoint, I’m better off.  I’ve got a good shot at living longer than the average; the social relationships forged in church are mentally beneficial; the myriad programs expand my horizons and abilities; there are ample volunteer opportunities, which better the community in which I live; and there is always a place use artisitc passions (I’m an arguably talented actress, and sometimes I even write decently!) for the glory of my Savior.

Just think about it. Assuming I cleave to Jesus Christ, I get not just the best of this world, but the best of the next. Comfort, joy, peace, salvation, love–it belongs to anybody who’ll just acknowledge and receive Him.

Jesus gave it all. He continues to give it all.

And while I do strive for the lifestyle that I know will fulfill me and benefit everyone I come into contact with, I’m kinda lucky if I can remember all this–and more importantly, apply it–more than two months or so per year.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m always praying. I’m always asking for help, and I’m usually grateful. I know my Savior; I’m His child, and I feel Him daily, hourly, by the minute, as he works in my life.

But to be honest, the enormity of Christ’s sacrifice eludes me some of the time. Too much of the time. To have died like that, to have been tortured to death for hours, just on the off-chance people will accept the light….I don’t know. I’m doing a terrible job explaining this here. But, to borrow a phrase from a youth pastor: it blows my mind. We all know the story. He was crucified, died, and rose again. But that’s such a flat picture now. An image that is so ground in, so cliched, it doesn’t even contain an image for some of us anymore. But to think and focus, even for a minute, on what crucifixion really is, and then to imagine, really imagine, the torture he had to endure as he trudged toward Calvary…it’s insane. Jesus Christ was not even recognizable. He was so broken, beaten, flayed, and tortured, if you didn’t know, there was no way to know.

Luckily, that’s not the end.

When you think about it–really think about it–the Resurrection is enough to bring tears. Definitely enough for an upsurge in joy! After all of this, all the torture, a life filled with teaching and loving the unloved and defying those who were only out for themselves, out to break everyone’s spirit and love no one, Jesus came back. And he didn’t just rise and go straight to heaven. After what we did to Him, He still came back to visit with His disciples and anyone else who would see Him. He didn’t just (“just”), quote unquote) die for our eternal welfare and get out of here, thinking “My work is done here”. He came back for a while, and in the process, even more deeply reassured the world of His love.

I’m about to jump up and down and cheer. I hope today, and every day, you can find a reason to cheer, too.

Happy Resurrection Day. Hallelujah, and God bless you.

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