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 kill, and a time to heal;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh . . .
But in the beginning there was a time to be born but no time to die; a time to live but no time to kill; a time to laugh but never, ever a time to cry. For there was a time when all God could say is “good” as He gazed upon a creation where no gravedigger’s spade had ever stabbed the soil of earth.
But for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. And there came a time when every matter under heaven was under hell, under the ancient serpent who wrapped his coils around our first parents’ souls, and strangled the life out of them. There came a time when men learned to sing dirges, when she who was called woman came to be called widow, and the bodies of loved ones were laid to rest six feet under a slab of granite with two dates chiseled therein: one a time to be born and the other a time to die.
And pious hearts raised the mournful cry, “Oh when shall I behold the face of God?”
And heaven said, “Wait.”
And still they cried, “Oh when shall I behold the face of God?”
And heaven said, “Wait.”
And still more they cried, “When, Oh when, shall I . . .”
Then the angels put their fingers to their lips, saying, “The time has come. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” And we beheld the face of God in the countenance of Mary’s Son.
Yes, there was a time to be born, even for God.
Mary had a little Lamb to make us white as snow; a little Passover Lamb who would drain His blood on the accursed tree that we might be washed therein and come out as white as wool. The virgin had a paschal Lamb whom God so freely gave us; a Lamb whose blood is painted on the door posts of our lips and the lintel of our tongue with the paintbrush of the chalice.
For if there was a time for God to be born, then likewise there was a time to die; a time to walk through the valley of the shadow of crucifixion all alone; a time for His head to be anointed with His own blood; a time for the shepherd to die for sheep that love to wander. And this He did, all for you.
But do not weep, for today is no time for tears! For the Marys found no corpse to anoint with their spices; no cold flesh to warm with their tears. Toward the dawn of the first day of the week, the angel rolled back the stone to reveal a tomb spick and span, ready for occupancy, but not by our God. He who at the beginning had said, “Good,” had come to say it again. He had come to create afresh, to rebuild a fallen creation with His resurrected flesh and blood.
“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” the angel asked the two women. The time for Jesus to die has passed. Now is the time for Him to live. And live He does. He possesses the power of an indestructible life. That life He gives to you.
He gives it to you by uniting you to His own living body. For you there was a time to be born and a time to be born anew. Born anew from the womb of holy water, born anew to love the habitation of Christ’s body, the place where His glory dwells. You are baptized into the Easter of his unending life. All your sins have been drowned in the sea of His blood. @@All your death has died in the ocean of His mercy.@@
Easter is the day when Jesus says to the world, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He makes you new in Himself. He gives you a new identity. You are no longer the children of this world, but the children of a heavenly Father. He will enfold you in His arms and never let you go. Through every pain, every loss in this fallen world, He is by your side. Nothing and no one will separate you from His love. He will love you through sickness. He will love you through loneliness. He will love you through the deepest, darkest valleys of this life. And He will love you even into the grave.
From that grave, He will show you, once more, His love on the last day of this sad, dying world. He will reappear at the climax of history, when the earth and the heavens will vanish in smoke. He will reach down and pull your waiting body from the grip of this earth. He will transform you from dust and ashes back into flesh. He will put His mouth to your nostrils and breathe life back into your bones. He will give warmth back to your blood. He will stand you on your feet, in a body pain-free, sickness-free, death-free. He will give you your body back, glorious and resplendent, like His own.
Jesus will Easter you.
On that day we all will laugh like little children. Our voices will blend with those of angels. We will worship the Lamb in His kingdom that has no end. On that day we will behold our God face to face. We will gaze with wonder and delight upon the face of Jesus. In His face we shall see nothing but grace, mercy, life, and light.
He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There shall no longer be any death, or mourning, or crying, or pain. There shall be only Jesus, with us, for us. For He is risen. He is risen, indeed. And in Him we too shall rise.