Often times, we only look at Easter Sunday as the day when Christ resurrected from the grave. After a grueling experience at Golgotha in the hands of the brutal Roman soldiers and being left alone by followers and disciples, a triumphant Christ came back to life as He promised and, right before the very eyes of the people who despised Him, ascended to heaven with a promise. How we love the story. The underdog who was mistreated – beaten to death, died the most humiliating death one could ever have – came back as a superhero. It is no different from any typical superhero story you might say.
But what does Easter Sunday really mean to us? We may all have our own meaning for this wonderful day – a day when kids can go out on an Easter egg hunt, where families gather to have a great meal or maybe even reflect on how Good Friday led to Easter Sunday like what I’m doing right now. But one thing God wants us to realize is that there is more to it than simply overcoming death. The grave represents so many things – your broken dreams, an unfulfilled promise,a hopeless case, etc. I know you have your own. In fact, you might have been thinking of one right now. “My career’s way out of hand. My spouse’s not going to change. The economy is getting worse. I can’t get rid of this bad habit. The doctor says there is no cure. I have failed so many times.”
Hopelessness. This is what the grave represents. And this is what God wants us to realize. Jesus was able to conquer the worst there is – death. What is God teaching us here? He simply wants us to dream again, to realize that there is ALWAYS hope.
I was reading the story about Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome walking down the grave to anoint the body of Jesus, when something really hit me. Have you ever had that experience where you read something (even memorized it) for a couple of times and on the nth time, something unusual pops up. You might have thought to yourself, “was this really there all along?” On the way to the tomb, they might have been very sober; thinking of what happened the Friday before. Not expecting anything except a dead body, they were surprised to see an opened tomb. Why were they there in the first place? Why waste time and effort going to the tomb – the tomb of the one who called himself God, now dead for three days. He was the hope of everybody who believed, until every hope collapsed when they saw him up on a cross – dead. If there’s anybody who should be on the tomb, it should be the disciples. Or probably they, too, lost all hope. But the ladies were there, for no apparent reason. And God was probably thinking to Himself, “let me give them the surprise of their life.” When they reached the tomb, an angel of the Lord told them of the good news. And what’s surprising is that the angel specifically mentioned Peter, you know, the guy who said he’ll go down with the Master no matter what but ended up denying him three times before the rooster crowed. This is the part I like the most. You might have lost hope about yourself, failed a lot of times and disappointed a lot of people – even God Himself. Just like Peter, you may be saying to yourself right now, “I blew it, I’m done.” But Jesus was so concerned about Peter that He made special mentions – “and especially Peter.”
Talk about giving hope. He doesn’t care whether you failed Him a lot of times. He still wants you to have hope. I just couldn’t imagine what Peter could have felt if he was there and heard his name. But I know one thing for sure, it turned Peter’s life around, enough to change the world in his lifetime.
There’s always hope. It’s alright to dream again. And that’s what resurrection Sunday brings to us. The God who conquered death is the God who brings us hope. And He dares you to prove it!