I picture Easter weekend in three different parts:Death, Silence, and Victory.
Waking up on Friday morning feels mysterious. As I walked across campus, I wondered what Jesus was feeling on the morning of his death. He knew what was coming. He knew that the cup of suffering was drawing nearer.
Despite the sorrow of this days events, Friday is such a mighty day. The day that the human likeness of the Father would humble himself completely. It was even Jesus's JOY to endure the cross for us. To bear our shame in order to give us life. "...For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame..." ( Hebrews 12:2)
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” - 1 Peter 2:24
Without Friday, the Easter story would be void. By his death, Christ gave us a picture of what our lives should look like:
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Galatians 2:20
This past Saturday was dark and rainy. A perfect picture of how Jesus' friends might have felt on the day after his death. Despair. Confusion.
I imagine all of creation sitting in ominous silence. The Bible doesn't say anything about what happened between the time of Jesus' death and resurrection (or if it was even a Saturday, so I'm just imagining.) I can't even begin to fathom the hopelessness of that day. Their leader, the One who was to deliver them from Roman opression, was gone.
Hope seemed lost.
But it was not lost.
I've tried to come up with the best verse, the best song lyrics, the best poem, but nothing can quite sum up the day of victory. The day when death died.
HE ROSE. Despair became hope. The sting of death vanished. Not only had Jesus died and taken away Sin, but He had defeated it with His life! Satan wounded Jesus, but Jesus dealt a blow to Satan that was far more powerful. He defeated death. In order to bring about life!
My favorite words about the joy and power of Christ's resurrection cannot be expressed in just one hymn or one poem, but here are just some of the best and most beautiful ways that humans have described that Victory Day:
"There in the ground His body lay Light of the world by darkness slain; Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stand in victory Sin's curse has lost its grip on me…" (In Christ Alone)
"But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him." (Acts 2:24)
"Oh death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory? Oh church, come stand in the light! Our God is not dead. He's alive!" (Christ is Risen, Matt Maher)
"Victorious! Christ has arisen glorious; On His brow the conqueror’s wreath, In His hand the keys of death, He shall buried hopes restore, He shall live forevermore. Over death victorious, Christ has risen glorious!" (Victorious)