During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.
All great stories have that point in the story where everything seems lost.
The plan falls apart.
The hero is in trouble.
The villain escaped and is looking for lives to take.
Fear and despair have replaced hope.
Honestly, without it the great stories just aren’t that great.
What kind of story would Lord of the Rings be if Frodo and the Fellowship just waltzed on in to Mordor and tossed the ring right into the volcano without even a hint of orc.
What if Vizzini had never stolen the princess in The Princess Bride and Count Rugen had left Inigo’s father alone?
Imagine your favorite movie where there is no resistance, no turn to the story, no moment when you’re not sure how it will turn out?
Into The Depths
For Jesus’ followers, the events that transpired from Thursday through Saturday were like that slow descent into despair.
The story that had seemed so hopeful even days earlier with His triumphant entry into Jerusalem had suddenly turned dramatically.
A new chapter had begun and it wasn’t looking good.
The hero had been killed.
His enemy was looking for souls to take.
The world wasn’t safe. There was nobody left to step in. It was hopeless.
When you watch a movie (unless you checked the run time), you really don’t know how much of the movie is left.
So when you get to that point in the movie, maybe it just ends that way or maybe it doesn’t. You don’t get to decide that or see into the future.
But as we look back on history, 2000 years later, we have the benefit of holding the book in our hands and seeing that there are still a lot of pages left.
What happens on those pages?
Out Of Thin Air
And that’s where it all changed. Easter Sunday.
The Author pulled something out of thin air that we never could have imagined in a million years.
Jesus was dead. Deceased. Finished.
It was final. He was in the grave, wrapped up, grave guarded and sealed.
Nobody comes back from that.
Especially not the one they had all hoped would save them. The plan must have gone wrong.
Except this time… this time….
This time, something happened no one could have imagined.
Man! I would have loved to have been there when the women who saw the empty tomb told the disciples.
The buzz around that whole place as they tried to understand something that just was outside the realm of possibility.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Time To Rise
And yet that’s exactly how God chose to do it.
From the depths, He rose.
From death, He rose.
From despair, He rose.
In one fell swoop God re-framed what is possible.
From an empty tomb came a message that resonates with us even today.
Jesus understands our pain. He knows suffering. He’s been ridiculed, experienced loss, wept tears, felt abandoned.
That weight that we carry with us through each day. That stress that keeps us up at night.
He knows it all.
And with the power of one who has overcome death itself, He wants to come alongside us and give us a new hope and a new future.
Easter is a reminder that no matter how dark the night, we can rise.
No matter how dusty the ashes, we can rise.
No matter how great our mistakes, how deep our pain, how final our future… we can rise.
And though things look bleak in the world on this April 12th, 2020, we will rise.
It may be dark for a while. We may not know when the plot will turn. But it will. And He’ll be right there with us.
Happy Easter! He is Risen.