Grace: This is what Easter means to me. In a way it’s always meant that, since I was big enough to think about it for more than a minute. But now I’ve lived it in a new way, and I stare in awe at that verse. I’ve realized first hand how fragilely my body and spirit are held together, and how effortless it would be to separate them forever. Ivan started telling me these words, probably before I was aware enough to understand, and he’s reminded me faithfully every step of the way. When I was completely “gone” in a coma..the Spirit of God was still with me, inside of me. When I didn’t know what was real and what was hallucination, there wasn’t a second that God wasn’t there. When my mind was too confused to pray or read or understand the Bible…God was still there inside of me. Even now, at my worst, my most frightened or anxious, my most confused, I am still indwelt by God’s Spirit. That’s where I step back and marvel at God’s love: How could it be worth the separation, the agony and death of your Son – to do what? To fill up broken, damaged, lacking creatures, creatures that could never give You the worship, or even the priority You deserve. No matter what has or hasn’t happened to us, we all fall among those creatures to some extent. But it was worth it to God. Somehow, in some way that my selfish and limited mind could never grasp – it was worth sacrificing His glory through Jesus to gain back His broken children.
Ivan: “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” (Philippians 1:21). What a strange verse! Dying is gain? Living is Christ? What does it all mean? It means that Christ is life: He is its source, He is its purpose and end, and He is life in the truest, richest sense of the word. This is what Easter is about. The triumph of life over death, of light over darkness, of divine, eternal goodness over the evil of sin and death. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. “Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5). Because Jesus lives, we can truly live. If God had chosen to bring Grace home last December, she would have gained a face to face relationship with God for all of eternity. But while she, and I, and all of us believers still remain here on earth…we have work to do. Let us advance His Kingdom through our everyday routines, through our jobs, conversations, activities, relationships…may we reflect the life and light of our Risen Lord in all aspects of our lives, for His glory. From the Utomos, Happy Easter!