In preparation for the Easter Sunday Sunrise Service here at Hinton Center, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can’t have an Easter without Good Friday. More specifically, we can’t celebrate the resurrection of Christ without the cross.
I think that’s often true in our own lives and circumstances too. Sometimes we can’t experience something new without something old dying first. It’s usually painful, difficult and oftentimes messy. We may even choose to continue living with the “old” thing just because it seems too overwhelming to think about moving past it. It may even make us feel like we should just keep on keepin’ on, because we’re uncertain about the outcome, even if we know we should give up whatever it is. Yet, it takes work and it isn’t easy. It’s usually pretty painful.
But we can’t celebrate the resurrection without the cross.
Sometimes we don’t really know what it is to have something good without first having something that’s bad. I think about the dog that chose to adopt me after I moved here to North Carolina. My other two dogs just don’t seem to appreciate how good they really have it, but Wesley certainly does. I know, I know, you might be thinking how can a DOG appreciate something? I haven’t lost my mind, at least not completely, not yet. It’s like Wesley has known what it is to be treated poorly and tossed aside, so he has this different way about him.
We can’t celebrate the resurrection without the cross.
I don’t know what you might be going through right now, but I know a lot of folks who are going through some difficult times. As Easter Sunday approaches, I hope you can find some encouragement – some hope – that you can carry with you through your situation.
Jesus endured great suffering, humiliation and betrayal. Good Friday reminds us of that, but thankfully, that’s not the end of the story! Sunday when you celebrate Easter, think about the contrast from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Think about the betrayal, but then think about the love. Think about the pain and sorrow, but then think about the joy and hope. Think about your situation, but then think about what it might bring about once you’re on the other side of it.
We can’t celebrate the resurrection without the cross. Sometimes we need to be thankful in the midst of our circumstances as we look ahead with hope, knowing that we are “Easter people.”