Jesus is dead. The stone has been rolled over the grave. Every year Easter rolls around and I think this day in-between is really the most desperate day of the whole story. There must have been shreds of hope hanging thin as Jesus was on that cross and maybe even as they lowered him down but today he has been placed inside of the tomb. The stone has sealed shut a grave that holds the hopes and dreams of all the people who called him teacher, rabbi, friend. Today he has been in there without a rumble of return. Today is the pregnant pause not full of hope but of questions. Where do we go from here?
I wonder how many of us are in our day in-between. Death in our life has occurred and we don’t know if the rising is coming. We’ve laid our hopes and dreams and pain in the tomb and we just don’t know if God will breathe life back into it. It might simply be dead. It might be that we lay it or them down and we mourn and we ache and we pray and we wonder but we feel no hope. The sky is dark, the tomb is quiet, and our tears are many.
You see we all know what to do with despair and we know what to do with joy but what do we do on the in-between good Fridays and Easters of life? What do we do when we are simply waiting? Simply hoping. Simply watching. Simply praying. We look ahead and the prodigal isn’t on the hill. We watch a relationship crumble and we don’t see repair coming. We see death coming in close and we feel no miracle being handed in our direction. Jesus seems to simply have died and now we are left. Our in-between days can make it feel like Easter never happened. The tomb is full and we see no rising coming.
For some reason I thought when I became a believer that life would just be good and honestly for the most part it has been. I have healthy kids and a husband who loves me so well but, we all have the fringe parts of our life that can make even the middle feel frayed. It is the fringe that has caused me to wonder when my Easter was coming. When does God show up in this story and breathe the life and answer a prayer I have prayed many nights…for many years? Will he answer at all?
Maybe not, but I have decided that it doesn’t mean God isn’t good.
I have decided that even though I have laid things in the grave with Jesus when he comes out no matter what he is holding he still came out. Therefor he is good. He conquered the things I couldn’t so and chose to love me when he shouldn’t so I can praise him. When my fringe circumstances don’t change I can cling to Easter and know the rising was all I need. We sing it all the time on Sundays, “he is enough for me.” Do we believe it though, if he comes out with open arms but no hint that things will get better can you still trust him? The sun is coming, he will rise but will you linger at the tomb waiting for what might never come back to life?
5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.