I debated on whether or not to even write this post, if it would be skipped past and considered another stereotypical post about Easter and a blanket message of what the holiday really means.
Until I read the story again in Mark, sat and thought about it, really thought about it, and then hung my head in shame. Because as I read the story, I knew.
What happened that day on that cross? It may have appeared as a regular crucifixion, a story to be told in a pretty package on Sunday mornings and everyone is to expect it to be different than the other crucifixions of that time because the pastor said so. A story that becomes a stereotypical testament of love and sacrifice and redemption at the end of every believer’s story.
But there is nothing stereotypical about sacrifice. People did not choose the way of the cross because it was standard or easy when it comes to dying.
There is nothing stereotypical about a God putting Himself through that much pain to redeem a world not even half-lived and a people not even completely born for generations to come and just as many who denied His existence.
Nothing stereotypical about the raising of the dead in three complete and perfect days so that all can rise again in glory if they just ask and believe.
Nothing stereotypical about holy.
As I sat there with my head hung low wondering how I had become so inundated with the story of my own salvation that I feared it would be stereotypical, I thanked God that He could make it alive to me once more. That the power of that cross and empty tomb is so holy it could reach to my day and there is still a God that loves me that much to offer me the gift of eternal love and life, that that gift is still offered to my children and my children’s children and everyone in between, before, and after.
I thought about the resurrection and how I was wrong in my approach to this topic, this crux of the determination to have my relationship with God. I didn’t need to re-write the story for anyone who reads these words here on this blog. No fancy, long-winded writing and run-on sentences filled with the best adjectives could replace. the raw, simple, holy beauty of those Texts that told it all in simple truth: “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him… 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” (Mark 16:1, 4-7).
He was not there. The prophecies were fulfilled, the price paid, the love poured freely with tender mercy. He was not there; He was risen.
The ultimate sacrifice, the giving of Oneself for His creation just to be with them forever instead of starting the whole thing over, a saving of that which had been lost in a single moment now forever and ever mended by the triumph of death.
Nothing stereotypical at all. Beautiful, yes. Holy, definitely. A price I could never have paid, beyond a shadow of a doubt yes.
New life found in the Giver of Life Who gave life so all could have it.
A happy and blessed Easter indeed. A story worth sharing, even if people just scroll by. Because it is a story that will never be contained in just one blog or tidy Sunday sermon for those who want to see it and hear it. It is a story that lives on in every Christian, in every ounce of creation, and in those Texts of Truth.
It won’t be found in a plastic egg or even in an empty tomb and most certainly not on a rugged cross.
He is risen. He is alive. He is not on the cross or in the tomb. He is within our hearts, alive forever more seated at the right hand of God. Waiting for His Bride.
He is risen. Nothing stereotypical at all.