And with it, the promise of life. With a glorious burst of colour, the earth displays a beauty and vibrance that winter has done her shivering best to make us forget. Almost, she succeeds. Almost, we despair of spring's arrival.
Then she comes. At last. We feel her warm smile in the sunshine. Her loveliness is accented by the colourful clothing she wears.
She brings hope.
Sunshine is here. Better days are coming.
But, let us not alienate poor winter completely. She prepares for spring's arrival in a way summer never could. As strange as it seems, these colourful flowers need to experience winter's harsh, cold temperament in order to reach their potential. The richness of their beauty would not be possible without winter. She holds the seeds until spring arrives, and during her watch, they die.
But that's not the end of the story.
Seems like it is, doesn't it? Death seems pretty final. Those seeds are dead. But, in the mystery of His plan, the Father leaves those seeds for a while, dead. Until there seems to be no hope of beauty, of resurrection.
Then He brings them to life. Miraculous life. Kinda like He did with His Son on that Resurrection morning all those years ago.
Three days dead. Sealed in the tomb. Bound. Where was the hope for His disciples? Their Master, their Messiah, their Deliverer, their Friend... dead.
There He was. He was alive!
Just as He promised.
"Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here, but has risen.
Remember how He told you,
while He was still in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be
delivered into the hands of sinful men
and be crucified
and on the third day rise."
Jesus Christ died so that we can live. The cross was my just punishment for my sin and self-worship, but He carried the full weight of it for me. As I gratefully accept His payment, like a spring flood He washes my wrongs off the record. I am clean and new. I have life!
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
But as He lives, I also share in His death. As I walk in His steps, seeking to become more like Him, He will ask countless "little" deaths of me. Yet as we walk on together, it becomes clearer that in that death, there is abundant life.
Just as He promised.
Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of Glory and of Grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
Happy Resurrection Sunday to you all!
Unmarked quotations taken from the Hymn, "Before The Throne of God Above" by Charitie Bancroft, Public Domain