Unprecedented times. A phrase I’m sure we’ve heard 1000 times over the past month. I understand why. In many ways, we have never experienced anything like this. In one sense, this really is a unique time in history. But I find myself thinking about how, in another sense, it’s not all that different after all; Easter Sunday is still our ultimate hope.
I think the Coronavirus crisis has had the effect of hooking an amplifier up to the same types of feelings that we had when life was “normal”. It has taken the volume knob of many thoughts, fears, worries, and bad habits from a 3 and cranked them up to a 10. While this season is unique in many ways, it is really not that different after all. Think about it. A few months ago you had things that worried you. You had relationships that were on the rocks. You had personal habits that were not healthy. Do you know why that is? It’s because sin and death in all their forms are universal. They are a result of Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden. In Genesis 3 we learn what happened.
“therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”
We were cut off from the source of life. We were removed from God’s presence. Our new reality was one of death and suffering; of sin and failure; of pain and brokenness. Things were bleak. However, if we backtrack for a moment, we see a glimmer of hope. Speaking to the Serpent, who tempted our first parents to sin, God says,
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[e] and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
And then he takes animal skins and covers over the nakedness of Adam and Eve, foreshadowing what he would do in the future. This reminds me of my favorite book, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis. In the story, it is always winter, and never Christmas. Yet we get a similar glimmer of hope. Some of the snow starts to melt. A little blade of grass peaks through. And it all leads to the crescendo when one of the characters calls out,
“This is no Thaw… This is Spring”.
In Genesis we saw the first blade of Grass sticking out, showing us that there was hope. As the story of the Bible and of human history continues we see the hope become clearer until we can shout out “this is no thaw!”
It all culminates in the story of Easter. All of the whispers and shadows find their fulfilment in Jesus. All of our hopes and dreams come true on that glorious Sunday. Jesus died the death that we all deserve for turning our backs on God. He won the right to be back with God. He rose from the dead to prove that he was powerful even over death, and made sure our hope that one day all death would be put to an end.
While that process has started, we haven’t made it to the end yet. There is still death. There is still sin. But Easter sunday screams with all of us,
“This is no thaw, This is Spring”