Maybe those are the reasons why my Easter thoughts for 2009 are less than "traditional" and definitely darker than I've ever thought before.
I love the Easter songs - the hymns that soar victoriously, that sing Hallelujah, that bask in the promise of a resurrection. But this year, we lost a close friend, and behind us sat a family mourning the loss of their beautiful young adult daughter. And let me tell you, that mama and daddy sang the fire out the Easter hymns.
Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia
My Jesus did not lie helplessly and sputter to life after three days of sleep. My Jesus saw Death - face to face and beat the crap out of it. Three days of battle ensued, where my Jesus was tortured by a Death who thought It had won. It taunted and threatened and my Jesus fought back.
(I'm not gonna lie. The Jesus I am picturing looks a lot more like Jack Bauer than the picture Simon colored this morning.)
And my Jesus basked in our praises today, but when he looked at my heart and heard my voice singing, he heard me taunting Death right back. My song wasn't one of peace and beauty - my song was full of fighting words.
You have hurt me.
You have threatened to take the joy of those I love.
You have shown yourself powerful and ugly and scary.
But you do not win. You have already lost. Today I cheer my Jesus on, and I spit in your face.
Happy Easter everybody!