I saw the small cross on the side of the road ahead and my heart sank as I thought “oh no, not someone else”. It looked like one of those crosses that families and friends place in memory of someone who died in a car accident. I seem to notice them more as I get older. I don’t know if there are actually more crosses or just more knowledge that comes with age. And, we have had several such accidents in our community and wider church family lately.
As I neared the cross, I could see it had writing on it. I figured it was the person’s name, and reading that would take my heart a little lower. In the area I was riding, I probably wouldn’t know who they were, but putting an actual name in mind would make it more real.
I drew close enough to see the writing and considered turning my eyes to miss the name. But, something drew me to look directly at it, and I read the words: “HE IS RISEN!” Rather than a reminder of death, it was an Easter sign proclaiming life! Tears came to my eyes, my heart soared and I spoke aloud that “Yes, He is, thank you Lord!”
I was amazed— a moment before, I was sinking at the thought of the effects of sin in this world. The grief and pain it causes. Then, those three words turned it all around. Christ did die, but it was no accident. He gave His life for us.
Christ turned it all around. Our grief is now for a moment, but we will be with Him forever. As the lyrics of “The Power of the Cross”* proclaim—”death is crushed to death”. Yes, it is, for HE IS RISEN!
“And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:5-6 ESV
*Stewart Townend, Keith Getty