Intense Despair and Euphoric Joy

It is so fitting that Easter takes place in the spring.

The weather was absolutely beautiful yesterday and today. It was perfect for getting out in the flower beds and pulling weeds. The sun was shining. There was a nice breeze, and the temperature was in the low seventies. As I was pulling weeds, I delighted in seeing the fresh new blooms on my plants. It is so fitting that Easter takes place in the spring. As the earth comes alive again with leaves budding on the trees, newly greened grass, and fresh colorful blooms, it reminds me of the new life we have in Christ.

I cannot even imagine the despair the disciples must have felt when Jesus was arrested and died upon a cross. They had left their lives and followed Jesus. Now everything that they had hoped for seemed to be destroyed and unattainable. Jesus, their teacher, was dead. I’m sure that they did not have a clue about what to do. They were hiding and fearful. They were in deepest mourning.

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. Mark 16:9-10 (NIV)

At first the disciples did not believe. Peter and John ran to the tomb. They saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. Even though the tomb had no body in it, they still didn’t quite understand what was going on.

That evening, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked in fear. Suddenly Jesus was standing among them. Their joy knew no bounds. It took a while but they slowly began to understand.

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. Luke 24: 50-53 (NIV)

Their mourning had turned to exuberant joy.

I don’t focus on finding happiness in life. Happiness is fleeting and shallow. For example: a piece of chocolate cake makes me happy, but it is soon gone.

The best gift is joy. I yearn for joy, the kind of joy that only God can provide. Joy goes deep and is lasting. I find my greatest joy in my salvation. Easter is a wonderful reminder of how Jesus died for us and provided a way for us to gain salvation. All we have to do is repent of our sins, and accept Jesus’ sacrifice as our atonement.

I have a feeling that many people who think they are going to heaven will be in for a surprise. Their names will not be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. They think that if they live a good life and/or believe in God that they will go to heaven. The verse found in John 14:6 is very clear.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14: 6 (NIV)

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7: 13-14 (NIV)

Confession is not the same as repentance. Repentance is a deep remorse for one’s action that leads to a change. If we are truly saved, I believe that we have repented and become a new person.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5: 17 (NIV)

I have put my trust in Jesus.

My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalm 73:26 (NLT)

I love this verse. It doesn’t matter what happens to my earthly body. My soul is safe in the hands of God. I shall never be taken out of His protection.

So I shall go nurse my sore muscles. My wish for you is that your soul, also, is safe in the hands of God. Jesus is alive and the savior of my soul. Praise God! Happy Easter!

Author: brendagmarler


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