“But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.” -Matthew 28:5-6
The past month I’ve spent a lot of time in cemeteries. Over spring break I helped clean a cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee and today I visited my grandma’s grave with my family after church.
As a kid cemeteries scared me, but as I’ve grown older and my walk with Christ has strengthened they aren’t as intimidating. Actually, I don’t fear them at all. Why? Because of an empty tomb. Death was conquered by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I don’t have to fear death (or cemeteries) because Jesus conquered death by death.
The first place I visited after my birth was the nursing home to see my grandma and until December 11, 1998 I went to the nursing home every Sunday after church with my grandpa. I have never heard the sound of my grandma’s voice (she had a stroke before I was born), but as I laid next to her in bed — and played with the pets the nurses would let me sneak in… they were wrapped around my finger 😉 — my grandpa would read to her from a daily devotional book handed out at church. She may not have been able to verbalize her thoughts, but from her expressions I could tell every word was sinking in. I have no doubt her soul has found its eternal resting place in Heaven.
Today in the cemetery those beautiful memories from my childhood flooded my mind and caused tears to form. Here’s the cool thing, they weren’t tears of sadness, but of joy!
“For this day of victory makes everyday a gift” was printed in today’s church bulletin and has stuck with me. Christ’s victory over death for our salvation is the most amazing gift and it keeps on giving. Each day I get to wake up and live for the glory of the One who gave it all for me. These gifts from God are a scandal that I keep receiving abundantly. I deserve to burn, but He chose the nails. As I reflect on the meaning of Easter I have realized part of death losing it’s sting is that when my time on earth comes to a close I’m not only going to spend eternity in the presence of my mighty and loving God (which is going to be totally awesome…I’ve heard there ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party cause a Holy Ghost party don’t stop, WHAT!), but that for the first time in my existence I will hear the sound of my grandma’s voice as she sings praises to our King. I won’t only hear her voice, I will hear her sing. What a gift.
As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection today I pray we don’t undervalue the free gift given to us at the cross and those God continues to bless us with everyday.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Happy Resurrection Day,
“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” -1 Corinthians 15:55