Hope Has Defeated Despair
The mystery of Christ's death and resurrection is a pattern of reality woven into every part of creation. It is a never-ending cycle that manifests itself in the pathway of life and the ups and downs of existence. This mystery goes beyond human lives and touches the entire creation: cold winter days are replaced with the beautiful spring as nature colors the naked trees with beautiful green leaves, and colorful flowers cover the earth with their beauty. Or perhaps a terrible wound on the flesh starts to be covered with new skin.
Christ is risen means hope has defeated despair, justice defeated injustice, freedom broke the chains of bondage, life triumphed over death, and love has conquered hatred
Christ's death and resurrection are two sides of the same coin; there is a season of despair, suffering, and eventually death, and a season of resurrection and triumph. Death and resurrection of Christ remind me of David's words weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Yes, Jesus Christ died once for all, and He rose from the dead once for all. Still, His death and resurrection are an ongoing process that repeats itself repeatedly. When we go through suffering (even though at that moment we may not realize it), somehow, somewhere, we know that it will end.
As we suffer now, Christ suffers in us and with us. He suffers in the ruins of the devastating war in Ukraine. He suffers along with a child who lost her mother in the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing or a patient in intensive care who struggles to live. Christ suffers in prisons, hospitals, refugee camps, and broken families. And yet, how long it may take, with our scars left behind, -- we too will rise because Christ has risen. Eventually, we will overcome, yet we remember the days of agony. Just like the wounded hands of risen Jesus reminds us of His suffering and the price he has paid on the cross.
We can choose to become the wounded hands and feet of Jesus...
Christ is risen means hope has defeated despair, justice defeated injustice, freedom broke the chains of bondage, life triumphed over death, and love has conquered hatred. Yes! Christ is risen. Therefore love, and only love, has the last word. Love always wins! It is not the easiest way, it is not simple, but love wins at the end.
As believers, we pray and wait for the Day when all things will be new, where there will be no more death or tears, pain, or sorrow. However, until that Day, we can choose to become the wounded hands and feet of Jesus. Wounded hands and feet, because we too are broken vessels, we too have our own scars from the past--yet we can choose to love and care for our fellow humans and the creation! As Jesus reminds us of caring for each other: ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’(Matthew 25:40). “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36). We can only do this through Christ-given love through us. In such days as this, let us choose to be the wounded hands and feet of Risen Christ.