There is a fragrance of resurrection everywhere you go. The images in nature can be stark: after a wildfire, green shoots of grass and fern push through the blackened horizon, and wildflowers sprout. The plain white flower of a bell pepper whithers and dies before the produce appears. Darkness falls before the dawn. This cycle is entrenched in creation.
It is also entrenched in our hearts. Review some of your favorite movies and stories. Lord of the Rings, Remember the Titans, Hunger Games. In all these stories, brokenness and fallenness proceeds a rise of redemption. And our hearts rise with the beat of resurrection again.
For deep down, no matter what our religious status, we all know, we must know, that this world is on the brink of a great redemption. Otherwise, how could we protest school shootings or abortion laws and women’s rights? We must believe deep down that there is reason to hope that things can change. That we are not bound forever to the chains of evil and darkness. We rise up and fight every day in the face of evil. We have not yet given up.
And that is because He has not given up on us. He has risen up before us. He has walked into death and turned it back around into life. The very curse we all deserved from our wayward godless selves, He took on for us, and redeemed on our behalf.
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow”, the song writer says. Because He lives, our hope lives on too.
But it is only hope if we have laid down our pride and ceased striving for self-redemption. Because if you follow the rest of the story, the story weaved through out nature and our fictional sagas, and of course, Scripture too, darkness and evil and sin keep returning. Our own powers are not strong enough to undo this madness. We need a Savior, someone to do it for us.
And this is the Gospel story. He is that great Savior. Only He has the power to undo the brokenness in our lives and the lives of all who suffer greatly. Only He has the purity and perfect steadfastness worthy of our trust. Only He has already done it – crushed death once, with the great promise to do it again, once and for all, on the day of His return. And so only in Him alone is our hope found, for those who lay down their arms of self-redemption, who receive His atoning work on their behalf and wait in the Hope He offers, who are willing to wait for the Great Redemption, consummated by His soon return. He IS coming back and Redemption will be completed. He is worth the wait, and then again a hundred times over.
Ressurrection Sunday should be a small reminder of our Great Hope of Redemption Coming, if we but believe and trust in Him. He is Risen! He is risen indeed!