This year, Holy Week has felt a little different than most. Because of all that has been happening, it has been filled with uncertainty and unknowns plagued with fear and loss of control. At least, those are the emotions I have been battling in this season. For most of us, Holy Week excitedly and somberly leads us to the ultimate price paid on that tragic Good Friday. And only in Jesus fashion did that tragedy give birth to the greatest freedom that will ever be offered to you and me – an empty tomb on Easter morning. For me, Easter morning used to look like chocolate bunnies, dresses and ties, as mom and dad drove us to Easter church service where we would sing songs of praise to the One who gave it all so I could walk free.
This year though, the empty tomb doesn’t look the same, as joy is getting harder and trickier to spot. Easter church services have been canceled and my dress will remain hanging in the closet, as my praises will reach Heaven from the comfort of my little yellow house. I am learning even here though, that different isn’t always negative. Sometimes a shift in routine changes our perspective and helps us see things that were otherwise covered by distraction.
This year, I see Jesus somberly walking up the hill to Calvary, carrying that cross that should’ve been mine to bear. This year, although my heart still soars with thankfulness for His sacrifice, I am keenly more aware of the isolation He must’ve felt, as the whole world He created turned their backs on Him, their Savior. Of course, the emotions I’m feeling are nothing compared to that of sweating blood and hanging on a cross for crimes that were not mine. I could never imagine that kind of darkness, the evil He bore that day at Calvary’s cross. But through this “different” kind of Easter, I am walking with Him through Calvary, instead of rushing past His pain toward the empty tomb.
Changes in perspective help us see things in a different light, and this year, my heart aches for my Jesus. Through the sadness of our world today, I am able to draw nearer to His heart on that tragic day. That tragically beautiful and hideously wonderful day. I see His sacrifice with sorrowful eyes and glimpse into the world of grief and isolation. My hands will raise higher because of this realization, and my praises will ring louder to my Jesus.
I will remember the life He lived, the miracles He performed and I will not forget that the greatest miracle is the one I’m most undeserving of. A life lived loved in the presence of my Heavenly Father because of the sacrifice He made for my soul. My debt is paid because of the persecution He endured, and I am more grateful now than I have ever been. And I owe it to this shift, this change in my everyday perspective.
Sister, maybe you are in the same boat as me this week – walking somberly with Jesus and holding fast to your new awareness of the significance of that empty tomb. Your eyes fixed on the broken man carrying that cross with his crown of thorns atop His perfect head. If so, be encouraged that if you feel like this season is breaking you, Jesus wholeheartedly understands. And if you allow Him to, I have faith that He will speak louder in this season of brokenness than He could have amongst your distractions of yesterday’s ‘normal’. This season of solitude and changing of routines and loss of control can either throw you back into the arms of fear or propel you forward into the arms of the Father. I am choosing to walk this week in step with Him; celebrating the life He lived on earth, walking with Him – tears streaming – toward Calvary, while joyously anticipating the miracle of that empty tomb.
I have a feeling that Jesus was experiencing an overwhelming amount of different emotions. How strange that these days my emotions are everywhere at once, just as His probably were centuries ago today. How intriguing that this season of chaos inadvertently reflects just a hint of what my Savior must have been going through. Fear, sorrow so deep it would physically hurt, but hope in knowing what was to come.
The greatest tragedy in all of history was the death of the Messiah. But you know what? It was also the most powerful, beautiful event that will ever grace this earth. Through evil darkness, unstoppable and unshakeable Light burst forth. And we are still reaping the blessing from that gift centuries later.
I have faith that this season of chaos and unknowns – if you allow it – will bring forth great beauty. So, as you anticipate Sunday morning and celebrating that empty tomb, lean into His heart at Calvary’s cross. Allow what you’re feeling and going through draw you closer to your Savior. Revel in the blessing of the blood that ran red down His back that solemn day.
Because tragedy always makes the miracle taste a little sweeter. And from Calvary today, we have the privilege of shouting with the highest praise,
He is Risen. He is Risen indeed.