During this Holy Week we remember how our Lord and Savior entered Jerusalem, at first celebrated but then castigated by the clueless crowds there. We recall how he went from sharing an intimate love feast with his closest friends to being arrested, unjustly tried and brutally punished by ignorant strangers who knew him not.
We remember the darkness that enshrouded his mutilated, nail-pierced body, as it hung on a rugged cross, at first in prolonged agony, and then lifeless, and finally, buried in a borrowed tomb.
But then came Sunday, and we can imagine and indeed, celebrate the luminous Son-light of that first Easter morn. The light must have radiated from his risen form and filled the earth with the promise of deliverance and the hope of glory.
So much can happen in one fateful week. So many bewildering reversals of fortune can swing wantonly from the terrifying, to the tragic, to the triumphant.
So much has happened in this tumultuous week. It began with Christians around the world waving palms of peace and shouting hallelujahs to once again welcome our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem. But once again, our peace was shattered, our joy and goodwill attacked and abused by ignorance, evil and confusion. And in the gloomy distance we see once again the brutal cross that bore Christ’s tortured body.
Tuesday’s deadly, explosive tragedy struck Brussels, Belgium, and reminded us of too many other tragedies of murder and mayhem that destroyed precious lives, leaving in their bloody wake the grief of loving friends and families. And once again, the cross of Jesus Christ, of redemptive sacrifice and suffering, beckons us forward.
For many victims and loved ones there will be unending grief, a gnawing sadness, a quaking fear and anxiety of future attacks. A reactive anger, both publicly expressed and privately repressed, will fester in the days, weeks and months to come. And once again, as strident voices call us to enact fearful, hateful retribution and to bear arms for all-out war, Christ calls us to bear the cross of fearless, undaunted love and to trudge the rocky path to the place where we lay our burdens and our battles down.
Yes, Easter morn is coming. And the Prince of Peace beckons us and welcomes us with open arms and an open heart. His radiant Son-light opens tombs and dispels the shadows of our grief and anger. His bright morning star will once again, and always, shine with unequaled brilliance. He will comfort and deliver us from this present darkness. And he will assure us—if we dare believe it—that the eternal hope of glory is ours for the asking.
By John Coleman
Eastern PA Conference Communications Director