This time of year is the anniversary of death for several young people in our circle of loved ones. This year is a time in history that will be known for many deaths throughout the world. In the midst of it all, we await the birth of our fifth grandchild.
I love when God redeems my pain, my suffering, and my sadness with His love and grace. I feel it especially powerful as we prepare to celebrate the remembrance of our Savior’s resurrection. I can only imagine what His disciples were experiencing the night of His arrest. Not only the twelve, but all the men and women who believed and followed Him. I don’t have to imagine the anguish of learning about the sudden or expected death of someone I loved so dearly. I won’t deny the sadness I’m feeling, nor will I refuse to accept the comfort of God’s love and compassion. I hold both to be equally true in the deepest places of my heart.
Although Jesus told his twelve disciples what was going to happen to Him, they couldn’t understand it until they experienced it. And Jesus was experiencing the same things – the pain of loss, feeling alone, and even fear. The truly amazing thing is that He chose it. He could have removed Himself from it at any time. But in obedience to the Father because of His great love for us, He stayed and experienced the fullness of our pain and suffering.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16
While we must be physically separated with of all the fear, sadness, and pain around us (and maybe even in us), let’s be united by reminding one another that He not only chose to suffer on our behalf but also rose to conquer death, securing our redemption. Let’s not allow the darkness of this time to dim the light of His victory – HE IS RISEN!
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – I Corinthians 15:56