Easter is hard. Jesus starts the week triumphant, riding on a donkey. He ends it on a cross. In between there is pain. There is agony. There are questions. Then comes death. Emotions run high. Despair and emptiness are almost felt in the air. That emptiness lingered when he was gone. Amplified by his absence.
Swirling in the disciples minds are thoughts of anguish and despair.
Ashamed at their actions, horrified by their decisions, they hide and mourn. Then something changed. The world was somehow different. The rock is rolled away. The tomb is vacated. Before the women arrive, hope returns but no one knows it yet. When the women arrive, hope starts to spread. Life springs forth. Everything is new once more.
Easter is hard. We want to skip over the bad parts, to travel right from the triumphant entry into the empty tomb. We want to travel from hope into hope.
Given the choice, we would gloss over the real parts, we would ignore the ugliness of humanity. These parts of the story resonate too deeply in our souls. But if we allow ourselves to live the story, to go from start to finish we find something incredible. In despair we see God. In ugliness we find beauty. In darkness we find light. In shame we find forgiveness. Through it all, we see Jesus.
We see Jesus.
The one who brings hope. The one who is light. The one who is.
When we enter the story we see Jesus. That’s what’s truly hard. Seeing Jesus forces us to confront his place in our lives. Seeing Jesus forces us to let him in. When we let Jesus in our lives change. Easter changes us and change can be scary.
Don’t be afraid to let Jesus in this week. Easter may be hard, but nothing great ever came easily. Just ask Jesus…