As we get closer to Easter, I start thinking of all the events that led up to that glorious morning when Christ arose from the dead. Can you even begin to imagine?
He was the Son of God. OUR risen Savior. Our salvation. But to the people He knew, He was even more than that. He was their friend. He was the one that walked the roads with them and talked to them about their dreams, their desires, their pain, their despair.
Can you just imagine what it was like to be His friend. To be someone who could call out the window as He passed by and invite Him in for something cool to drink on a hot day.
Can you imagine the times of stress and worry when He would simply head for somewhere that He could be alone to talk to His Heavenly Father. And then just imagine the comfort and peace He felt after that conversation. Knowing that His time on earth was drawing to an end.
Can you imagine the love He felt as He looked at all those He had come to know so well. Imagine what was going through His mind when they were planning a fishing trip in a few weeks and only He knew that He wouldn't be around to go.
I would imagine He had times when Peter would make Him throw His head back and laugh in the pure joy of their friendship. And I am sure there were times when He, Mary and Joseph would talk and His heart would be breaking at the thought of leaving them. And imagine being one of the children in town who got to hang out with Him.
Then I wonder how those around Him that knew Him the best reacted when they saw Him beat, spat upon and hung on the horrible cross. How could they take the agony of seeing Him suffer, watching Him bleed as He hung there battered and scarred, waiting for the moment when His earthly body would be no more. I wonder at the anguish of those who loved him so. How could they stand to watch his pain and suffering? How could they stand not to? And when they removed that precious sweet body, broken and beaten, and prepared it for burial, how could they endure their own pain.
I wonder how long they stood there and just stared at the closed tomb that held everything that was dear to them. They knew of His promises. They knew He had to go. But oh how difficult that must have been to say that final goodbye as dusk set and they had to get back to their homes, their families, their lives.
But on that third day, oh, that glorious third day. How did they feel when they returned to the tomb and it was empty. It was true! He was gone! Then they find out that He has risen just like He promised. What was intended to be an end was just a beginning.
Christ arose and the tomb was empty. That empty tomb was the promise of a future. What had ended as despair now became HOPE.