The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” – Matthew 28:5-6, NIV
The news begins to spread among the disciples: Jesus has risen! When Jesus appears in the flesh, the news turns into a celebration. Joyous wonder envelops the group of His followers.
But remind just three days ago and you’d find anything but joy. There’s only pain. Suffering. The feeling of abandonment. The crushing weight of shame. The burn of the thorns. The sting of betrayal. The sound of flesh being ripped from bone. The bitter disappointment. The questions…
Why?! I thought I was following the Messiah…
Was He who He said He was?
He was coming to restore Israel’s kingdom…what happened?
In moments like these, the questions swirl without answers. And you’re left feeling like this is the end. The end of your life. The end of everything good. The end of joy.
But perhaps that’s the paradox of the Crucifixion. What feels like the end is actually the beginning. The beginning of the Holy Spirit’s work. The birth of the church. The start of a beautiful eternity.
The next time the enemy whispers in your ear, “This is your end”, you remind him that so was the Cross…until three days later. This is the hope of Christians everywhere—that death does not have the final say. That death is not all powerful. That it isn’t a foe we have to fear.
It’s just another new beginning.
God, thank You for Jesus and His sacrifice. Because of it, I can live with hope and comfort. When all I can see is the end, please remind me once again that You have a knack for turning the end into a beautiful beginning. In Jesus’ name, Amen.