The Glory of the Resurrection
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When I was growing up, my family always had our Easter egg hunt on Sunday afternoon. That’s because in the morning, my mother would dress us in our fancy outfits, then we’d drive off to church, where we would celebrate the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday. Dad conducted the choir, and Mom played her violin in the orchestra for an inspiring anthem. The pastor preached the Gospel message, then with all our hearts we sang the words of Charles Wesley’s great hymn:
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!
Although our family was far from perfect, and we certainly had our share of ups and downs, it was a priceless treasure to grow up sustained by the assurance that Christ has won the victory for us over sin and death. As children, we understood it on one level—then as we grew older and saw the consequences of our own sin and understood the truth of our own mortality, the magnitude of what Jesus has done for us became even more amazing and appreciated. He suffered unspeakable shame and death to redeem us from our transgressions for all eternity. Alleluia!
Over the years, our family spent many wonderful Easter Sundays together. After my husband and I were married, my parents would enjoy visiting our church and playing their instruments with our worship team. But then as Mom aged, we noticed that she began having difficulty following the music. Gradually her memory grew worse, her ability to read music disappeared, and she couldn’t even remember how to put her beloved violin back into its case. Watching her slow deterioration was like a long goodbye as this talented violinist, teacher, wife, and mother lost so many of her physical and mental abilities.
Even so, she never forgot that she is a child of God. One of the last videos we have of Mom is when she was lifting her hands to sing along with Psalm 103, Bless the Lord, O my soul. Although she had forgotten so much of this mortal world, verses 2–4 were still true for her:
Forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
And at sunrise the following Easter Sunday morning, she slipped out of bed and into the loving arms of her Savior. Although we were shocked and saddened by her sudden passing, we knew she is more alive and whole now than she had ever been. It was a great comfort to think of her entering heaven on Easter as all the saints and angels gathered around the throne to worship the Lamb who was slain, the risen Son of God.
I like to think that because she was such an experienced musician who loved to praise and worship the Lord, she didn’t even have to go to the heavenly choir practice in order to join the great throng in praise to Him. And when it’s my time to leave this world, she will be right there to welcome me to the alto section of the most magnificent choir in all the universe—comprised of people Jesus has redeemed from every nation, tribe, and tongue.
And perhaps, just perhaps, we’ll sing another great verse of Wesley’s hymn:
But the pain which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation hath procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!
Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for taking our sins upon Yourself as You died a brutal death on the cross—then rising again to give us eternal life with You! Fill us with the power of Your Holy Spirit to live in the victory of Your resurrection each day of our lives until You take us to be with You in heaven. In Your name we pray. Amen.
Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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