Today is Palm Sunday and I had to work. I’m not complaining, I hope. I’m not crazy about being at the hospital on a Sunday but working weekends are part of the job and this weekend it was my turn.
I did miss going to church and gathering for worship with God’s people as Holy Week begins. For the Christian this is a big week. It starts today with recalling Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, then moves on to Maundy Thursday and remembering the Last Supper, followed by Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In my mind those last two days are two parts of one single event, because neither part has meaning without the other. It isn’t the death and resurrection of Jesus but the death-and-resurrection of Jesus.
When I was on the far side of the hospital I had an opportunity to go across the street to get some coffee and right there, at the cash register, was a pleasant surprise. There was a sign, one that most unexpectedly pointed to the events of this week. It said, “Life is Blooming” in large letters, with smaller print afterwards that read, “Easter is March 31.”
I know full well that the primary intent of the sign was to remind us of spring and the new life that we will be seeing in nature as winter fades from view. But it was the mention of Easter on the sign that brought to mind the passage from Colossians 1 that my wife and I read last night, particularly verses 13-14:
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
These verses are the essence of the meaning of Easter. In the death-and-resurrection, in the movement from Good Friday-through-Easter, in the imagery of the cross-and-empty tomb we remember that Jesus delivers us from all that enslaves us, giving us a freedom that lasts forever. He takes us from a place of total darkness and brings us into His glorious and everlasting light.
It may still look like winter outside but life, the life in Jesus that really matters, is blooming.
Life is blooming indeed!
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.