The rising of Christ from the dead is an event that is meant to radically change us. If you are like me you might do a decent job making Lent count but making the season of Easter count can be a challenge. For the 40 days of Lent I find myself dialed into the passion of Christ and committed to sacrificing and praying in a way that can help my relationship with God. If I am honest, the peak of Holy Week is profound but once Easter Sunday ends I go back to normal.

This year, I am attempting to make that different.

The whole idea really began before Christmas. During Advent, I made the effort to meditate on the manger of Bethlehem each time I was inclined to pray about Christ and his cross (this is my instinct when trying to stay focused during prayer). The fruits were tremendous. I never spent so much time reflecting on the scene of Jesus’ birth before. Usually I would spend more time in prayer during Advent, and then on Christmas day I would be consumed by the manger, but that would be it. Making the move to pray about the birth of God, weeks ahead of time, truly made a difference.

For Lent, I wanted to make a similar decision. So, I decided to meditate on the Way of the Cross. Specifically, I was drawn to the sounds of the day. What would it have been like to hear the sentencing of Christ to death, his scourging, and his mockery. I found myself becoming more and more aware of the brutality of the day. If the nails that went through his hands and feet were six to nine inches long there would have been a huge noise from the hammer. The cries of those being crucified would have been heard far into the distance.

The sounds of Good Friday have stuck with me, just like the manger has. Now that it is Easter, I have been considering how I can apply the same logic to this season of joy. Similar to Christmas, Easter can last a day for most of us and then we return to normal. To combat this instinct I want to meditate more on the faces of those that saw Jesus on Easter Sunday. What would they have looked like?

At the beginning of Lent, I wrote that this season is meant for intimacy, not merely checking the boxes of our sacrifices. If Lent is for intimacy, the season of Easter is for renewal. To be renewed means that we arise differently than we were before. It means that even how we see has changed. It means that we are renewed from the inside out.

The Resurrection appearances in the four Gospels are gems. To be honest, I do not spend enough time sitting with them and praying about their powerful details. Jesus’ best friends deserted him in his time of need, denied even knowing him and feared for their own lives after his death. Even though they say Jesus performed countless miracles their faith was shaken when his life was on the line. The Apostles saw Christ make the lame walk, the mute speak, the deaf hear, and the blind see. They saw him walk on water and heal lepers. They even saw him raise people from the dead. And yet, when he died they thought it was all over.

Think about the looks on their faces when he appeared in that upper room. Their astonishment would have been unreal. Mary Magdalene must have smiled and been shocked like never before outside of the empty tomb on that early Easter morning. Think of the way that Thomas looked at Christ after he placed his hands in his wounds. His doubt led to worship.

In all of these appearances Jesus comes to revive hope and restore joy. He comes to look people in the eye and communicate his victory. In order to make Easter last I want to sit with what it would have been like to have Christ look at me in this way.

We all have situations or aspects of our lives that appear to be unchangeable, unredeemable and hopeless. We all have experienced Good Friday moments of despair and desolation. Whatever that looks like for you, allow Christ to look at you and tell you that it is not more powerful than him. Give him your wounds so that he can glorify them and renew your life. Then, and only then, can Easter resurrect us as well.


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash.

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