Rejoice!

Easter is one of my favorite holidays! I mean I simply love that we get to break out all the pretty spring colors and enjoy the sunshine after the long months of shaking from the cold; but more than that, we get to dance and sing our praises for the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, the perfect Lamb, our Messiah IS RISEN!!! That concept alone sparks so much joy and hope in me.

Holy week gives us such a beautiful image of who God is in every single moment. We watch Jesus exemplify humility in the midst of praise and honor as He rides in on a donkey while people wave palm branches cheering for Him. He shows us how He loves His enemy when He shares a meal with Judas the night that He is to betray Him. He enjoys communion with the ones He loves in the upper room. He displays obedience to the Father even after praying for God to make another way and God doesn’t change the plan. He experiences great suffering as He is flogged and beaten, starved, and hammered to a cross with a crown of thorns placed on his head. He exemplifies forgiveness as He cries out for the ones persecuting Him. He shows us hope for our futures as He tells the prisoner beside Him that they will be joined together in Heaven. And He demonstrates the miraculous power of resurrection after 3 days in the ground. At the same time, we watch the disciples act out of humanness and mess up when they flee and Peter denies Jesus 3 times. Jesus’ followers fall into sorrow and mourning because they thought Jesus was gone. Can you imagine how dark those 3 days were?! We know the ending, but they didn’t fully know yet. Then we see the shift as they begin rejoicing and proclaiming the good news on the 3rd day (some took a little longer to come around lol but still). Talk about a roller coaster of a week! But this week of history so beautifully exemplifies Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Easter is a time where no matter how dark the world looks to us, and no matter how hard our current circumstances are, we get to put everything aside and connect to hope and joy because we have a savior who defeated death and gave us something better to hold on to. On the day Jesus gave His final breath, the darkest day you could imagine, there was a time to mourn and acknowledge that. But on that 3rd day, Jesus revealed Himself to Mary Magdalene and nothing else mattered in that moment! Mary went running into the town to find the disciples and share the news. What is essential to note here is that nothing about their circumstances changed in that moment; Christians were still being persecuted, they probably still didn’t have money (because they gave up everything to follow Jesus), and whatever personal issues they were facing didn’t just disappear. However, that didn’t matter because when Jesus rose it became a time for dancing. The Messiah just conquered death and stole the keys back to the Kingdom of Heaven so that we could enter into His glory with Him. In that moment, that is all that mattered.

There will be times in your life where it is appropriate to mourn, there will be times when it is appropriate to be righteously angry, there will be times when it is appropriate to lay down and surrender it all for the Lord to fight on your behalf. These times are important and are validated by Jesus in numerous ways. But this Easter season I challenge you to connect to the joy. Connect to the promise that was fulfilled as His blood poured out to cover our sins. Connect to the person of Jesus, who is very much ALIVE and dance in the glorious riches that are your inheritance with Him. It is a time for dancing friends! Your circumstance may not change, but still praise Him. There will be a time when your personal victory does come, but today stand in the power of Jesus’ ultimate victory and let that carry you in your moments of weakness. We always have a hope to cling to. We always have something to shout for joy for, because The Lord is Risen and we are free to worship Him!

Author  | Tori Kramer

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