I am so thankful we can celebrate the Easter season in our churches once again. I missed the corporate beauty of this celebration.

Going through the pandemic felt like the movie Groundhog Day. We replayed the same bad day over and over with many fighting despair. Death, loss, arguing over vaccines and masks, lockdowns, shut downs, unrest… one bad day after another. The landscape was bleak. Some felt a sense of abandonment as loved ones died and isolation took over.

But on Good Friday, we were reminded that all our struggling and suffering will one day end. There will be no more tears, no death, no mourning or pain. All things will be made new.

On Good Friday, we remember Jesus willingly (He could have called His angels to rescue Him) sacrificed and suffered for us. There was a purpose in Christ’s suffering. He knew that purpose and was obedient, even unto death. He took our sin to the cross so that we could be saved. Without His sacrifice, we could not be justified to God. This is why Good Friday is good.

But it was not an easy path. Christ had to endure momentary abandonment on the cross. Philip Yancey, in his book, “The Jesus I Never Knew“, points out that when Christ gave breath to his last words, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” He used the word, “God” instead of “Abba” or “Father.” Christ felt abandoned by the Father during His darkest hour.

But in the spiritual realm, the darkness of Good Friday eventually gives way to the light of Easter morning. Yancey says, Easter holds out the promise of reversibility. Destruction and even death can be reversed because of what Christ accomplished on the Cross. Easter is the starting point. It is a preview of an ultimate reality. Our present lives are the contradiction of what is to come.

Easter brings hope. If God could do what He did on Easter, then what more does He have for us eternally? Easter is a glimpse of eternity.

Yancey points out that the physical scars Christ suffered remained on His transformed body as a reminder that painful memories may never completely go away, but the hurt of those scars eventually will. As we rebuild our lives from devastating times, remember that Easter reminds us that someday, we all get a new start. Tears will be gone. Suffering will be no more.

On that Good Friday, it looked like evil won, but Easter declares this is not true. Jesus triumphed over the grave. Death could not keep Him and He rose again! Easter is about hope. No matter how bleak Good Friday seems, Easter helps us remember that one day disease will be erased, wrongs will be righted, and brokenness will be healed.

We are created to hope in Him and long for that day when suffering is no more.

Psalm 39:7 directs us, “My hope is in Him” not circumstances or people. Psalm 119:147 says, “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.” On your days of suffering, cry for help, but remember Christ is risen! Our living God is our constant source of hope. He defeated the darkness.

This Easter weekend chose hope. Refuse to give in to despair. “Love never gives up, never loses faith is always HOPEFUL, and endures every circumstance” (I Corinthians 13:7).

Yes, we remember Good Friday, but Easter is here!

Happy Easter!