Acts 2:23-26 With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. King David said this about him: “I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope.”
I’ve written before on this blog about 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: Though we grieve for our beloved ones who have died, we have hope! “. . . For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.”
Our hope for being with our beloved ones again is rooted in Jesus’ resurrection! Because Jesus is alive, “He will wipe every tear from their [our] eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). Through releasing Jesus, God will one day release us all from the curse of death that came through the fall (Genesis 2:17). Isn’t it cool how Easter links the very beginning (Genesis) to the very end (Revelation) of Scripture?
Following a February surgery in 2009 that set off severe rejection, the doctors told us at Easter time to gather our family because there was no hope for Karis’s life. But God gave her back to us. Three weeks later, May 2, Karis wrote in her journal, still in the hospital but out of ICU!:
Worship. How can I express this, even remotely? The thrill, the awareness of You so visceral. I want to share this. That which You whisper in the dark to me I want to declare on the rooftops.
I want to learn about this Earth and her many peoples and their histories and geographies—the different smells of her many airs . . . I want to learn to see her more and more through Your eyes, Father. To hear her groans and to be for her people the fragrance of hope.
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we have hope, no matter our present circumstances or what the future may bring. That’s how our Father sees us, with hope, because he knows the end of our story, individually and collectively, is abundant life. Breathe in that fragrance. Let your soul absorb its healing balm.