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Through the Cross / Holy Week

Christmas is usually the beloved holiday by many, and yes I love it too. But Easter, Easter quickly became my favorite “holiday” as I grew older. I am a contemplative person and the reflection and introspection that takes place leading up to Easter Sunday has become a tradition that I have embraced and come to love and look forward to.

This season we find ourselves in, I have found myself thinking of the victory of Easter with fresh perspective.

Resurrection power came, but not until it was finished on the cross.

The cross, where faith is shaken… did darkness overcome?

Oh but Sunday.

Resurrection’s light over darkness could not be accomplished unless Jesus went through the cross first.

Not around the cross
Not over the cross
Not under the cross
Not sidestep around that cross.

Straight through the nails on that rugged cross.
For love he stayed and endured a crown of thorns, bruises, beating, suffering that took his last breath.

Savior King, went straight through the pain of cross to claim victory over death 3 days later.
There is no resurrection without the suffering of death.
His power bursting forth 3 days later because he endured the cross for me, for you.

I see my heart, I want all the Resurrection power without the pain of the cross.
I want to go over and around the cross. I want to brush just close enough to the the edges of that cross, just enough that inflicts  a few slivers worth of pain… just enough pain a little band-aid could cover.

Yet Jesus didn’t skirt the cross like I would. Jesus stayed. Stayed until death.

Jesus stayed on that cross because of consuming love.
Resurrection and victory came to pass because he chose to stay.

I am reminded again in this shifting season, don’t lose heart.
The tomb stands empty and proclaims, “victory came!”
Death defeated.
Salvation is here.
The war is over.

We stand forgiven.
“Through his bruises we get healed.”

Inhale, breathe in victory… victory we did not deserve.

Just as the disciples experienced initial sorrow and confusion over Jesus’ death, my mind falls into those places of confusion and despair, where I forget Sunday is coming.
I sometimes only see the defeat of Friday lingering, just like the darkness of death that blanketed the hearts of those who loved him that night he died.

They cried out, they panicked, did our King of Kings lose this war?

I imagine there was fear and heartache as they felt confused… forgetting God had a plan.
I too find my moments of panic in situations in my life… this isn’t how I thought it would go. But that is when I forget his promises. I forget the war is already declared over.

I easily can slip out of resurrection remembrance and live life forgetting Sunday’s power.

He had to carry our sins to the cross to bring the gift of eternal life 3 days later.

By his choosing to give his life, death was then swallowed up forever.

Death’s power emptied.
Death’s grip untied
Death’s hold released.

“Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”

Because of Easter I no longer have to fear.

I have hope.

The chains of fear can’t lock me in.

It is finished. He has Risen, He has Risen Indeed.

Because Christ conquered death, freedom has come…. It’s all life, this life and the age to come.

Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.”

I will lift my eyes to the power of resurrection when the heaviness of the news swirling outside wants to keep my eyes locked in on the confusion.

I bow my head and remember, He had a plan then, He has a plan now.

That plan is victory.

Hope rises.

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