The Easter story is a remarkable one. It’s also a relatable one. This year, more than any before, it’s hitting home for me in a really big way.
Imagine it. You’re a disciple, a follower of Jesus, and you’ve given up your whole life to take a journey with the man you’re sure is going to save us all. He is the Son of God. You’ve seen him walk on water, heal the sick, perform miracles at every turn. You know to your core that this is the man who will be our Savior, who will change the world. You sacrificed your job, your possessions, your family, to take up and follow him, to learn from him, to serve with him.
Then, suddenly, he’s arrested. You watch as he’s tortured. You witness the horror of his crucifixion. And the entire time, you’re waiting. You’re sure he’ll escape, he’ll overpower his captors, he’ll get out of this. The longer it all goes on, the more worried you get. The more the uneasiness sets in, and you begin to squirm. Looking around, you are in total disbelief. How can this be happening?
And then, he dies. The man who was here to save us all is dead. What does this mean?
The spiral begins. You can’t breathe. Was it all a lie? Everything you believed in, sacrificed for, was it all wrong? All that hope, all that joy. Gone with his last breath. Hope dies with him. It’s all over. Despair takes hold, and you start to spiral into the darkness. What is left? What’s the point?
You wander in shock for the next couple of days, trying to make sense of it all. Trying to figure out where to even go from here. You have nothing — because you put all your stock in this Savior. Who’s now dead. There is no plan, no hope, no light.
Then, the third day arrives. And He is Risen. He didn’t stay dead. The power of what that means hits you like a Mack truck. Death cannot stop Him. The grave couldn’t hold Him. He truly is the Son of God! Death was not the end, but the beginning. The rebirth. The resurrection. The saving. Hope bursts through the darkness, stronger than ever — brighter than before. Because now, the hope transforms through belief into knowing. The greater plan is revealed, and it’s better than you could have imagined. Euphoria, relief, rejoicing.
How often does this same dynamic play out in our lives today? We follow God, we trust in Him, and we are sure we know the plan. We see the outcome. We’re full of hope and joy. And then, it all falls apart. The truth shatters. We are plunged into darkness, shocked by how wrong we were in our belief. We are left reeling, unable to find our footing. We cry out to God, asking why, unable to process what’s happening. We are lost.
He replies, “Just wait. You’ll see.”
And we do. His bigger plan is revealed. Something happens that locks into place that greater hope, the deep knowing. Suddenly, we see why it played out the way it did. We recognize that God knew what He was doing all along, that sometimes he uses the darkness to contrast a greater light than we’ve ever seen. A light that not only provides hope, but belief and full-blown knowing. A knowing that frees us to follow Him whole-heartedly, unwavering, while rejoicing.