Easter stirs so many emotions for me. It seems my reflections are intricately woven with the events of Jesus' last week on earth.
As I approach Holy Week, I feel myself drawn to Gethsemane. It is a place of protest, you know, where Jesus went to ask the Father to let this cup of death pass from him. I have stood among the old olive trees in Gethsemane on a trip to Israel in 1997. The year before, I quite literally found myself begging God to let the cup of death pass over our family. I have laid a precious life in the lap of Abba Father and uttered the words,"Not my will but yours be done," as I learn to trust Him with the pain.
As I awake on Good Friday, I find myself identifying with the sorrow of Mary, whose son's life is slipping away as he hangs before her on the cross. And yet I find comfort in the words Jesus speaks to her in John 19:26, 27. He sees her tears, and looking down from the cross, he meets her in the form of her need, to fill the deep void created in her mother's heart.
When Jesus saw his mother
and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby,
he said to his mother,
"Woman, behold, your son!"
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother!"
And from that hour
the disciple took her to his own home.
And then the hope of Easter comes upon me. I realize the power of the resurrection to bring a glorious reunion with those who have gone before. I recognize the promise of Jesus to his disciples as he taught them about his Kingdom that would be ushered in by his death. Jesus tells his disciples in John 16:22, 23 ~
You have sorrow now, but I will see you again,
and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy from you.
In that day you will ask nothing of me.
My Easter reflections always take me back to a Garden in Jerusalem, where I stooped to enter an
tomb. I praise Him for the promise of resurrection, the hope of reunion, and the Kingdom where he will . . .
. . .
wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain anymore,
for the former things have passed away.