• Dana L. Butler

Zoning In On Easter [We Who Once Were Far Away Have Been Brought Near…]

Hello friends!  Happy Easter weekend to y’all!

I have to admit, this year I have not been as focused on “Holy Week,” these days leading up to Easter, as I normally am.  My mind has been preoccupied with other things.  

But I’m taking this writing course online (I’ll tell you more about it soon), and I had a writing assignment to do today… and this is what came out.  I think my heart just needed to zone in on Easter… on the victory that was accomplished for us on the cross. 

It’s brief… but I wanted to share this with you all today.  May it bless you…. and may the full revelation of the finished work of the cross and the freedom that was won for us make your heart burn inside of you this Easter.

Easter.  It comes around every year.  The calendar, and hopefully the weather, say “springtime!” …and Easter arrives, hand-in-hand with warmer temperatures and tulips popping their heads through the soil in my flower beds.  

It comes with such regularity that sometimes, I forget to notice it.  To pause.  To ponder. 

And today…Saturday… is a day for pondering.  Friday, Jesus died.  Sunday, He arose victorious.

But Saturday?  Saturday, death had conquered. Or so it seemed. The Lord of the universe was in the tomb, sealed by a giant stone and guarded by soldiers. 

Those who loved Him were devastated.  Those who’d killed him?  Pretty sure they were squirming on the inside over what they’d done: “Surely this man was the Son of God.”  (Mark 15:39)

The disciples huddled together, shoulders shaking with grief, hearts shattered, hopes dashed and dreams crushed.

They’d forgotten what He’d said.  Or simply not understood.  “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in 3 days.”

Darkness seemed to have won.  The sting of death hung thick in the air… thick in the hearts.

All the world waited.

The hours ticked by. 

Night… and tears… fell.

And then… then, came a Sunday morning sunrise like none other, before or since.  A sunrise accompanied by the trembling of the earth as the Son of God rose, life restored, divine power pulsing, surging through His glorified body.

And those women, trudging to the tomb that morning, hearts and feet heavy with sorrow?  NOTHING could have prepared them to hear one of the most victory-infused, power-laden declarations ever spoken: 

“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!”

He is RISEN! 

We say it every Easter – “He is risen.”  And the response: “He is risen indeed.”

But do we really consider the implications of that first Easter morning, its practical impact on our lives?

Death is swallowed up in victory, and we who once were far away have been brought near!! NEAR!! Near to the heart of God, near to the throne of grace, invited into intimate friendship with the Holy One!

All because He is risen. Because the power of sin and death over us has been SHATTERED. Because by His death and resurrection, Jesus CRUSHED the head of our enemy.

Because He loves us.  Because we were the joy set before Him, His motivation to endure the cross.  Your heart… and mine.

He is risen… and we have been brought near… and set wildly free… and brought to life on the inside.

And I am so… beyond… thankful.

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