Easter weekend might just be my favorite holiday.
As believers, Easter represents the reason for our hope.
It is the powerful moment when our Savior went willingly to the cross to die a brutal death to redeem all of humanity in an act of radical love.
However, that’s not the end of the story. He didn’t remain dead and he wasn’t defeated. On Easter Sunday, we remember the glorious resurrection, the celebration of His – and because of Him our – new life.
If Friday is the death, and Sunday is the resurrection, what is Saturday?
It is the waiting.
This weekend, I have been reflecting on this in light of missions. So much of the world is in the waiting in this very moment. They have experienced the brutality and death that the world has to offer. They have seen the injustice, the sorrow, and the decay of a world attempting to live without Jesus.
What they haven’t yet experienced is the resurrection of a new life in Him.
There’s a story within this story of death and resurrection that I love so much. In Luke 24, after the crucifixion and burial…even after the resurrection, the Bible tells us there are two men walking to a village called Emmaus, talking about the recent events that had taken place. Plot twist…Jesus appears, but they don’t know that it’s him…it’s such a cool story. Check it out…
“While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.
But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.
And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?”
And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?”
And He said to them, “What things?”
And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.”
And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.”
So He went in to stay with them. When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.
They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.”
– Luke 24:15-35 (emphasis added)
I found this so significant, because it reminded me of the amount of people who are living in a post-resurrection world, and yet are still unaware that the grave is empty. Jesus is opening the eyes of those who haven’t yet heard of the resurrection. I believe He is going to do this in France, preparing the way for the hope of the gospel to be known again throughout Europe. In reflection of this past weekend, let’s pray for those who are experiencing the waiting. Those who are in need of hope and a new life and don’t yet know the answer lies within Jesus.
How do you want to be involved in the gospel going forward into the darkest places?
Together, we can bring the message of the resurrection to those living without hope.
Grace & Peace,