Easter, it comes around every year, where believers around the world celebrate an empty tomb. But his year I needed Easter. There are times in ministry where it seems like everything is flowing smoothly and ministry is going great. There are other times that tend to be more difficult. Times there are more questions than answers. Times of uncertainty.
For me, the last several months fall into the more difficult category. Not that ministry has been bad, it is just changing. New students stepping up and needing to step up into new leadership roles. More families struggling and going through difficult times. More kids struggling.
In these seasons it is easy to lose focus. It is easy to get discouraged. Questions begin to arise in your mind… Is my ministry making an impact? Am I making an impact in peoples lives? Are student’s lives really being transformed?
Can you think about what it would have been like for these early disciples. They had literally given up everything to follow Jesus and now He is gone. Worse of all, he did not even put up a fight. The one disciple who really tried to fight for him in the garden, Peter, is reprimanded for doing so. He invited them to join him on this mission to reclaim a lost humanity. Now the leader is gone and they are left wondering what to do next. I am sure questions flooded their minds. What now? Was He really who He claimed to be? Were the last three years a waste? All hope seems to be lost.
But can you imagine the hope that might have begun to slowly seep into their minds as they heard news of an empty tomb? I am sure the over whelming thoughts were, no way. It’s a hoax. But I have to imagine, in the back of their minds were the questions, “what if.” But then, to see him, to touch him, to hear him. Hope was not lost because He lives!
While the resurrection is something we remember throughout the year, this year I needed the reminder more than in the pass. I needed the reminder because in the midst of families falling apart, students struggling with decisions, in spite of what seems like hopelessness there is hope because the tomb is empty. Because He lives!
I love the words to this hymn,
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know He holds tomorrow.
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.
Such powerful and true words. Words of hope in the midst of despair. We find hope in an empty tomb and a risen savior.
He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: