“My two-year old doesn’t understand death,” my friend told me.
“Should she?” I laughed.
“We’ve been reading through her children’s Bible, and it is not the best place to learn about death. Jesus dies, and comes back to life. Lazarus dies, and Jesus brings him back. Isaac almost dies, but then God saves him. Daniel gets thrown to the lions, but then God saves him too. She basically thinks death is getting really sick or injured and then you’re fine.”
She went on to explain how her daughter is bewildered and sad each day when she wakes up and finds the flowers she picked the day before to be wilted and brown.
She doesn’t understand how death is the end.
Death is bewildering to her. Resurrection is the expectation.
As we grow older, we learn to expect death. We experience it in a multitude of ways, through the death of beloved pets, loved ones, relationships, dreams, expectations. Fires and floods and earthquakes shake our realities. Mass shootings and senseless murder make the headlines.
And we grow burdened. We are heartbroken. We grow numb. We lose hope that things will be different.
Death is the expectation.
But today would change it all. We cross over a threshold on Easter Sunday. This is the day that we walked to the tomb, ready to say goodbye and ready to bury. And the grave was empty.
Jesus died. He carried the scars to prove it. The soldiers had pierced His side, blood and water flowed.
But now, He is alive. And we often treat it like simple fact — He is risen, He is risen indeed.
Do we forget how bewildering it is to find a heartbeat where there once was silence? Do we forget the sheer joy and delight that comes from having our expectations so wondrously shattered?
We cross over a threshold on Easter Sunday, where death is the expectation but it is no longer the end. We are intimately acquainted with death and sorrow. We carry the scars to prove it.
But we anticipate resurrection. We know the miraculous. We ask and we watch. We stare at the grave and declare, “Death, where is your sting?”
Do we live like the resurrection is our new reality? Do we anticipate life as much as death?
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 15: 55-57 –
Day 8 of 13, “Come Alive: Easter in Everyday Life”