Three years you spent living in His footsteps. You left your home and your life for Him. For three years, He did amazing things. He made the blind see, stilled the roaring seas, brought food to the hungry, forgave sins. The crowds loved Him, the high priests hated Him, He persisted in proclaiming that He was Someone different. He asked you, who do you say that I am? And you said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And He said, Blessed are you. (Matthew 16:15-17)
And, yet, all that changed one day. They went against Him, the crowds which so recently heralded His coming with palms — they turned on Him and demanded His death. He wasn’t the conquering Hero they wanted. The Jewish priests laughed and said, He saved others; He cannot save Himself (Matthew 27:42), and watched Him die on the day of the Cross.
And you too turned away, for like any ordinary man, you couldn’t see how this — God, the Creator, could die like this, could be like this, could supposedly reign like this. The cock crowed and suddenly you knew, all those things He said when He walked among you, there was something more to them, prophecy to them, trust and faith in them. You couldn’t hold on to the truth He spoke, you couldn’t take it. But now…
The curtain to the Temple rent in two, an earthquake rocked the land. You didn’t know it yet, but God was telling you something — that no more was God far away, no more was He distant, unapproachable like He was in the first dispensation of His love. No, He was close. As close as a prayer, as close as faith, as near as trust. Sin was breached, the chasm of your darkened heart was bridged forever by His blood.
On the third day, you knew. The women told you, you ran and looked. Behold, the tomb was empty. He was gone. Remember what He said? Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19). My kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). I am the Light of the World (John 9:5). All who believe in Me will have everlasting life, just as I have everlasting life (John 3:36). All who believe in Me will one day arise, as I have arisen, will one day live with Me with God, as I now live with Him, will one day love Him with a love that no man can quench, just as I have loved Him and have loved you from the depths of My heart. No one will be lost from my hand, for I am God.
You looked into His eyes and He was alive, looked into His wounds and they were real, looked into His heart and it was love. What man can kill, God can raise. What man will dishonor, God will glorify. The light shone out of heaven, the song of angels filled the air. He was lifted up into the heavens, to be with the Father.
You went back to the tomb, amazed. How was death so swallowed up in Life? How was pain so swallowed up in Love? How was sorrow so swallowed up in Joy? How did God become Man? How deep was His love? How amazing was His grace! You fell on your knees, in awe of the Savior who took His life for you, who then took life back from the grave to prove that He was all who He said He was, to prove that He was not lying when He said that day so long ago,
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).