March 27, 2016
For the majority of the Christian World, today is all about remembering when God actually proved them wrong.
The night before this day, they went to sleep with a lot of questions. They wondered how the Man they thought was the Son of God ended up suffering such a horrible death. They would have run what Jesus said a thousand times in their mind trying to make sense out of what they thought was the end of the story. How could they have believed Him? Why did God let it happen?
They had no way of knowing what would happen on the day the tomb would be found empty even though Jesus told them it would happen that way. As if that was not a strong enough piece of information to give, there was also the fact that it happened when everyone thought that Lazarus was gone forever too. It was even foretold hundreds years before it happened to Jesus, but they still did not believe the end was not really the end, but the beginning of an awakening.
Isaiah 53 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
It is easy to think they were happily shocked by the empty tomb. No one knows if any of them asked "why not" when they received word that Jesus lived again.
When something bad happens human nature takes over and we always want to know why it happened. Did we do something wrong? Did we deserve it? Could we have prevented it? Did God do it to us to punish us? How about, why did God spare us from it being a lot worse?
I am Greek Orthodox and we are known as Easter people because we celebrate the new beginning and rejoice over the fact that Jesus was willing to die for us but defeated death along with all our sins He carried on His shoulders. We will celebrate Pascha on May 1 this year.
Let this day be a new beginning for you. A day when the person you were yesterday is let go of and take on a new life, free of sins and torment. Free from asking "why" and you begin to ask "why not" for the future.
When you see a homeless person, remember Jesus was homeless too and depended on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter.
Do not look for miracles that did not happen for you, like hitting the lottery last night when someone else did, but look for the miracles that happen every day in great as well as small ways in your own life.
If you are grieving, then grieve knowing what is behind it. Is it for the loss you suffered or is it because you believe you deserved it? God does not send bad stuff into our lives but He does give us what we need to get through it. Stop and think rationally about what you could have done differently and then actually think about if it would have really been possible to do it with what you knew at the time and within what your human abilities would have allowed you to do.
Veterans have a habit of thinking they could have done things that even a comic book super hero could not have done. Stopped a bullet? Jump in front of a buddy before the RPG was fired? Drive over a bomb before it went off? Spot a sniper before he pulled the trigger? Tell a buddy to duck?
So many things you may want to believe could have happened when it actually could not have been possible for you because no matter how much you love, no matter how courageous you were, you are in fact still just human like the rest of us. Yet as a human, even you can defeat the death of all the good inside of you.
Remember that you were willing to die for the sake of someone else and that required the purest form of love. Even in your grief, a part of you is still willing to sacrifice for those you lost. That is from love. Use that love to defeat what is haunting you and keeping you from rejoicing when you defeated death and survived combat.
Don't keep wondering "why" it happened and start asking what you can do with the rest of your life for others. Time to roll the stone away and defeat PTSD. It does not have to win the rest of your life. Yesterday cannot be changed, but today can start to change at this very second.