Love Breaks Through
Before I got into the cab this morning, I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much, spiritually, out of Easter Sunday.
Guarded in my heart.
I do believe, I believe in the reality of Christ’s resurrection life. I believe that the risen Christ changes lives, changes everything. I’ve seen it.
But I’ve seen a lot of ugly stuff, too: Broken people, broken situations, stuff beyond (human) repair—here in the Middle East for sure, but if I’m honest I’m thinking about stuff I saw long before coming here.
Christ is risen, but sometimes I have a hard time seeing it.
And I can grow weary. And guarded.
In that way, I share the experience of Jesus’ followers on that first Easter. According to the Biblical accounts, that evening found the disciples gathered in the upper room, behind a locked door.
So, the ultimate event of salvation history has occurred and the crucified Christ is risen and alive; the bonds of sin and death have been broken, and things will never be the same.
And, yet, the disciples are hiding behind a locked door. Christ has risen, and they KNOW it, sort of, but it’s a reality that is still taking hold for them.
And it is from inside that locked room that Christ appears.
The risen Jesus BREAKS THROUGH—through the fear, through the ignorance, through the barriers we put up.
Maybe it’s his compassion, or maybe it’s his relentless, unbridled enthusiastic love that refuses for us to remain in the dark.
The risen Jesus breaks through.
This morning, for me, it was in the cab on the way to church.
We usually have friendly drivers, but Khalid was something special. Elmarie had ridden with him before, but this was my first time. He had a presence that was warm and gracious. He was quick to relieve Elmarie of her heavy stack of Easter muffins and give them a secure place in the trunk. He engaged us in pleasant conversation. He offered us gum.
Once at the church, he rushed to retrieve our muffin trays from the trunk. Before even receiving any money, he shook both of our hands while, in his best English, wishing us “Happy Easter!”
“Happy Easter!” Khalid said again before we headed through the church gate, and from his voice and his eyes and his handshake he truly meant it.
A pretty good way to start Easter Sunday.
I couldn’t help but smile and feel a bit less obligatory about going to church as we made our way to the worship hall. Then Elmarie turned to me.
“You know that Khalid is Muslim, right?”
And there it was, something that dropped my remaining defenses.
Jesus had broken through.
How? Through a simple posture of grace.
Through a door that some might not expect.
Through something reminding me that the ugliness I grow weary from doesn’t get the last word.
DEATH DOES NOT HAVE THE FINAL WORD
—that’s the reality that Jesus’ resurrection stirs in my heart.
Death, sin, brokenness, the ugly stuff that keeps us from each other and from the heart of God. None of that has the final word on my life or yours.
That Word belongs to Jesus.