Baking Rolls and Lighting Candles: Reflections on His Resurrection the Night Before Easter

This day will begin with it and end with it in our house.  In the midst of baking cheesecake and marinating chicken my mind keeps going there…

To the empty tomb.

To the burial cloth lying there – lifeless and in a heap.  The face cloth neatly folded and off to the side because in His raising He cared about the mundane details, EVEN THEN?  In the midst of the GLORY OF GOD RAISING HIM TO LIFE he took the time to set aside the cloth that had covered his bruised and broken face- That just gets me and holds me hostage. Jesus the risen Son of God setting aside the face cloth, it is just so human and motherly and real.  All day it has had me wondering…

Did His body surge to life all at once, pulsing blood shooting through his veins?  Or was it a gradual steady pace through the dark of night, in the dark of the tomb.  Did the skin begin healing and then the heart beating and then the limbs moving?  Were the angels there with Him to give Him light- did He even need light- HE IS THE LIGHT

We Christians love the cross, we wear around our neck and put it on our cars and it is the right reminder of the price paid.  But without the empty tomb the cross means nothing.  Thousands have suffered and died on a cross- yet there is only one through out all history who conquered death and was raised to life after three days.  It is really the tomb that defines us and makes us free.  IT IS IN THE CONQUERING OF DEATH THAT WE NOW LIVE.  The empty tomb is our beauty and our grace.

I just keep going back there today- it makes me want to forget the rest.  Leave the oven and the eggs and just huddle up there next to the tomb and cry and worship and let it define me.  Let the emptiness and the cavern space of that hollow rock-ROCK ME.

So this morning we began with it- We made rolls and read the story of the Our Savior surging to life:

We talked of His perfect sinless life beaming white with mercy and grace willingly walking to the cross…

Taking on the sin on the world. It utterly covering him, separating him from his beloved Father. The piercing of the side and the giving up of His Life, FOR US…

And then the women who loved him wrapping him. That body beaten and bruised beyond recognition gently and lovingly wrapping-loving-caring for Him. Even in his death they would worship with their hands as they wrapped

And then the hard heat of hell. The oven that bakes and molds and makes what is raw and unfinished beautiful and sweet. The conquering that had to be done so we would NEVER have to set foot in that place because HE DID and HE WON

And then the most miraculous site that eyes have ever seen-The empty Tomb! With white garments laying off to the side and the stone rolled away. The only empty that will ever really fill.

And then we ate and savored the sweetness of His love for us.  What a beautiful picture of His LOVE and His RISEN POWER at work IN US- THROUGH US.

…………

Tonight after dinner is had and kids are bathed we will light the candle in the empty tomb inside our Resurrection Garden.  And we will quietly thank Him of His love for us and His sacrifice and THE EMPTY TOMB THAT FILLS US UP ETERNALLY.

Since we planted our resurrection garden just a few days ago my kids have wanted to light the candle in the tomb each day.  They just keep asking to do it.  I have to admit that it is a BEAUTIFUL SIGHT.  To see the light cascading out of our little home-made tomb, winding its way onto the rocky path, as if it is lighting the way Home-the way out of darkness.

This would be so easy for you to do.  To just grab a jar or bowl or something you can turn on its side and light a candle in.  Put it in a bowl or pan filled with dirt from the yard and add a little path of rocks if you have them.  And then light it at the end of the day today.

There is the night before Christmas, why not the night before Easter?

Why not before the hustle and bustle of church and family and activity and bunnies and sugar…

Why not light up that empty tomb and set all our eyes in the direction of Him?  Of His RISEN and COMPLETE love.  As a family to sit together and behold the light dancing out of that empty space and to celebrate the miracle of it all!  The light of the world lit up in your home and your heart tonight.

What a glorious start to Easter to the celebration of HIS RESURRECTION for you and for me.





 

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