When I picture Easter I often picture the idyllic photos of flowers in full bloom beneath a clear blue sky as children and families smile all dressed up eating a picnic, for some reason. Somehow, Easter looks like a stock photo in my mind. And yet, I know Easter means oh so much more than candy, bunnies, smiles, and pretty clothes.
Easter celebrates and honors the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. It celebrates that He took our place as the perfect blameless sacrifice to atone our sins. He went in my place. He died and rose again so that I could live no longer separated from God. And yet even when I picture the resurrection story unfolding, I picture a clear blue sky as the tomb is found empty. I picture everyone in cleaner robes than before walking along dirt roads in full brush bloom as word spreads Christ has risen.
But this morning as I scurried into my parents’ church to meet my entire family for Easter morning, I got chilly. I wore my go to bright pink dress without checking the weather because, Easter. Also the majority of what I own spans the white/gray/black spectrum of the color wheel.
No one told the weather today the calendar read Easter. The weather in my part of the world, overcast with rolling dark clouds. A chill wisped through the air without rhythm or rhyme to when it would swirl around you again. The clouds hung low and ominous. I wondered at what moment the low ceiling the clouds pushed down on me would open up and pour out the rush of rain that seemed to fill them to the rim. Today did not look like the Easter I always picture.
And yet, today we celebrated Easter. In the midst of intermittent rainfall, thunder and lightning we celebrated the resurrection of Christ. We celebrated the power of the cross. In the midst of a storm we remembered and sang about our God and His power. But why do I associate only those flawless images with the resurrection?
Though transparent and somewhat embarrassing, I often only marvel at the cross at Easter. I know and cherish the cross, but I do not always intentionally live my life and walk with God as if every moment relies on the power of the cross. I know and hold the cross as a cornerstone, but much like a building the cornerstone gets covered by the walls and the floor and then forgotten. My feeble mind does not see the cornerstone holding it all together unless I foster the habit.
The sacrifice of Jesus, the cross, the resurrection – the power of those hold true no matter the weather. If Easter comes and goes with a storm instead of blue skies, it does not change the truth. The same holds true for our lives.
If life looks different than we think they should, the cross and resurrection are still true.
If we find ourselves in a season filled with storms and raging seas, the power of the cross and resurrection still pulse through us.
If the sky stands blue and the flowers bloom, the sacrifice of Jesus still washes us clean.
Whether your Easter had sunshine or raging storms, know that the power of the cross meets you where you sit. God hears you. You – no matter your season, your relationship status, your health, your job, your finances – you are loved. You are seen. You are washed clean by the power of the cross and resurrection. I plan to check the weather and start living my life like death has been defeated. I dare you to do the same.