Death Stings, and That is Good News

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even if he dies.”

John 11:25

There’s a second (or what feels like a second) when the blooming trees burst forth with their buds: The experience of beholding their brief glory is one of bittersweet wonder.

I find myself trying desperately not to blink, or rushing hastily for my camera, because the trees hold their new-life beauty for the span of a mere breath.

This bittersweet wonder of the flash-beauty of blossoms icing the tips of the branches of the apple tree in our back yard reminds me of the flash of this life: in a relative breath, we are here and then step into eternity.

If not for Christ’s triumph over death, the flash of life would be all we have. We would eat, drink, and be merry, for there would be no tomorrow.

But the longing that comes with the yawning ache of the momentary blossoms speckling the April trees serves to remind me that written into the spiritual DNA of our hearts is the truth that we were created to be a people who would not have to taste death. Death has such a sting because in the fiber of our beings, we know that death is not how life was meant to be.

But Jesus changes everything.

Without the Risen Christ, we would be under the thumb of death, ruled by the bitter shadow of the grave. We have hope when we blink and the cherry blossoms are wilted, floating from the tree branches like snowflakes on frozen tundra because we know that life now doesn’t end with death.

We are the resurrection people, worshipping the risen Christ.

The cross matters.

The empty tomb matters.

Jesus lives, and on this truth, we can step out from under the shadow of fear once and for all.

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Pastor Al Gilbert

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