Day 40!! (Well, for another few minutes, and judging by my writing speed for the previous 39, it will be well into Easter before I finish, but I can’t fail now….Day 40 is worth its own musing, so here goes….)
I have much on my heart to share tonight about what writing this Lenten blog has meant to me, but it will have to wait until tomorrow – Easter – the day of celebration and resurrection (so look for a “bonus blog!”)
Tonight is the end of Lent and the crucifixion has claimed the life of Jesus. No one really knows what that experience was like for him…..scripture gives some clues to an epic battle between life and death, and surely there was! But it was not for those who saw him die to understand. In fact, though Jesus spoke more than once about his return from death, no one understood him….or believed him…and while Jesus was facing his darkest post-death hours…..so were those who loved him.
They had to have been so disappointed! It must have felt like abandonment and discouragement and lonliness…..even betrayal…..all wrapped up in one big gut-wrenching feeling of grief. If only they could have known……
Jesus was gone, but he wasn’t done…. He continued to fight the battle that none of us could fight for ourselves. And he did it absolutely alone.
I began writing late this night with the familiar feeling of regret that I let the day get so far behind me, knowing that most people wouldn’t see this before Easter. How could I write about suffering and death when everyone is already shouting “Halleluia!”?
And then, as self-pity threatened to undo everything God has worked in me the last 39 days, I realized that it wasn’t only for my ultimate salvation and eternal life that Jesus went to the deepest, darkest place of death for me. It was also for this moment. And so many others when I’m not sure of myself, or don’t feel adequate to meet the challenge. Jesus championed death so I could have life….not just after MY death, but right here and now. There is so much I’ve learned about God’s love for me through Jesus. And the more I know, the more compelling it remains!
There is truly victory and freedom in following Jesus Christ of Nazareth. How else can I explain the total turn-around in my heart and attitude as soon as I “found” where to begin writing tonight? What began with a feeling of defeat has, in only a few moments, turned to faith and excitement as God – yet again – shows up to speak to me. And that’s because of the Spirit of Christ that is alive and well in this blessed woman. Not me, but Christ in me. That’s part of the “resurrection power” that is offered by the grace of God. I am lifted – you are lifted – above the things that threaten to hold us in captivity. I’m so thankful!
In a few hours I will be sharing the sunrise with a group of Jesus-followers. We will sing and rejoice and shout “He is Risen!”
So…..it’s only fitting that I now finish “Day 40” so close to the resurrection. It’s because of resurrection power that I made it….we made it!
It is now Easter Sunday where I live. That means my “lenten journey” has officially come to an end.
May the power that raised Jesus from the dead be yours today and every day!
And never doubt that he loves you.
He loves you fully and passionately, every moment of every day.
Happy Resurrection. =)