Written by Bryan Francisco
Illustration by Natalie Tan
During the Lord’s crucifixion, there was “darkness over the whole land” (Luke 23: 44), and His death brought about sadness and desolation in many of his followers and disciples. Have there been areas in your life (during Lent this year) that you’ve had to finally put to rest? If this has been a season of sadness, the good news that I would love to share today is that the Resurrection is here and now!
Jesus’ resurrection was and remains the greatest victory ever won, a victory over that which supposedly cannot be defeated – a victory over death itself. Jesus’ conquest of death is the promise that things can always be brought to new life again. There isn’t any loss that can’t be restored by Jesus and certainly, every form of death can and has been overcome by Him. Living with an assurance of these truths is the fundamental way to begin embracing the victory of the resurrection.
The biggest obstacle to this however, is our disbelief in the Lord’s desire to redeem us. We often feel too sinful or shameful to believe that God’s mercy is meant for us. Ironically, we find the fact that the God of the impossible loves us, far too impossible to believe. Well, the unchanging truth of the matter is that He does love you. His dying on the cross was for you. His victory over death frees us from the chains of sin and the slavery to it. We are no longer orphans but have found a home in the heart of our Father in heaven.
This is how we live in expectant faith of the constant resurrections that happen in our lives. Father Ronald Rolheiser shares that the, “resurrection is not just a question of one day, after death, rising from the dead, but it is also about daily rising from the many mini-graves within which we so often find ourselves.” Walking in the victory of the resurrection entails a daily choosing of the Lord and His saving hand in our daily struggles.
As we choose Him daily, we can come to see that most if not all things in our lives may require a ‘crucifixion’ at some point. We may become too prideful at work or school, may have come to a point of misunderstanding in our relationships, or we may have become ignorant of our own weaknesses and shortcomings. All of which would require a point of surrender or crucifixion in our lives. The good news is that the body of Christ does not remain in the tomb for long. The stone in front of the tomb will always be rolled away so that new life can come forth! This is where our hope is born! That everything that is nailed to the cross, WILL rise again.
Jesus never waits for us to reach the endpoint of our journeys before meeting us. He appears on the path as we walk on it. On the journey to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to the disciples before they got to their destination. He was present in their conversation and knew what was on their hearts, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” The disciples stood still, looking sad.” Even though they could not recognise Him, He made the first move. Likewise, Jesus is with you on the path that you find yourself walking now. You may not be able to recognise Him, but He is there asking you, “What are you worrying about, upset about, joyful about, while you walk along?”
Regardless of how you feel, commit to a time of prayer and recollection with Jesus daily. The duration of the prayer shouldn’t be the worrying factor, instead just start small and let the Lord and your desire to interact with Him dictate your prayer time. You may start with a simple 2 minutes of thanksgiving for your day that can naturally flow to the emotions that you experienced throughout the day. I remember being crippled by the fear that my prayers were insufficient or not long enough, but I can now see the truth that the Lord desires to simply be with me. Even a single minute longer spent in prayer, is a minute more for Him to spend time with His beloved and vice-versa. So my brothers and sisters, regardless of how your Lent was, I strongly invite you to share your everyday with the Lord beginning today. Let Him remind you of your identity in Him and how the identity of the beloved comes with the ability to walk in the victory of the Resurrection day after day!
How will you respond today?