This week I have been living in an afterglow of Easter. Last week our Worship services led us on a journey of extreme highs and lows. Holy Week started with celebrating the joys of Palm Sunday with the foreshadowing of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. We were waving palms that Sunday and on Thursday were trying to wash away the stain of our sin followed by celebrating Jesus’ last supper. The moving act of the stripping of the altar gave us the opportunity to ponder about sin and death. The altar was bare and even so, we lay bare in the wages of our sin. There is nowhere to hide when we are confronted by the consequences of turning from God.
We came back on Good Friday to find we have a champion in Jesus Christ. Though our sin gives us a death sentence, we find that our God loves us so much that he sent a scapegoat to take our punishment for us. Good Friday took us through the last hours of Christ’s life as the seven candles on the Good Friday cross were extinguished. The seven candles were put out, but the Christ candle remained aglow. Our hearts were saddened as we watched the candle leave the sanctuary, as we hoped for its return. Our hearts were heavy as the light reentered. We realized Christ’s suffering and death was for us.
The slamming of the book represented the closing of the tomb and the fulfillment of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Saturday was a service of waiting and hope. We were promised that through Christ’s suffering and death, new and eternal life would be ours. This is not just idle hope. This is a promise from the Creator.
Easter Sunday comes and we are about to burst with happiness. We raise the Alleluia banner and follow the cross as it enters in a triumphal celebration and fulfillment of God’s promise. “He is Risen” we shout and answer with “He is Risen indeed, alleluia.” This hope in eternal life is not something we think might happen. This is a certain hope that we too have eternal life with God. God’s grace to us was revealed in Jesus. Our faith and trust in Him give us the knowledge that we will be with our Triune God forever. “He is Risen!” is our daily cry.
This is the after-glow we now live in. Evil is still in the world, and sometimes it grabs hold of us and causes us to stray. But, we as repentant people, are a forgiven people. We must never lose sight of the fact that we are God’s children, and our Father wants us to be with Him forever.
I am wishing you the joy of our risen Lord.