Dawn: the moment from darkness to life-giving light.
While traveling, I recently watched the movie 33 about the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days and the heroic attempt made by so many to free them. The miners were buried alive and, unless someone came to their rescue, they would have surely died.
I could not help but wonder how many people I encounter daily who, spiritually speaking, are in the exact same spot, but may not even realize it? They are alive physically, but not experiencing the fullness of life, breathing the fresh air of the spirit, and basking in the brilliant light of God's love that truly makes living an enjoyable experience and enables us to flourish.
We are in Holy Week, where as Christians, we celebrate the amazing truth about God's incredible love for us. We see that Christ Himself endured the shame of the cross, the darkness of the tomb and death so that we could be free to live "above ground". Jesus experienced Hell so that we don't have to. Jesus came to our rescue. He pulled us free from this earth and all that traps us so that we could joyfully live in the true freedom found only in Him.
Many of our Churches are now shrouded; statuary and crucifixes covered. We get a glimpse of the impending darkness that is to come. The storm clouds are brewing, building up to today-- Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. We can go to Adoration chapels on Saturday and will find that there is no Jesus present in the tabernacles. Why? Because we are experiencing what the disciples did, Jesus in the tomb, an almost unbearable stillness, gone from our sight. But even in this we have cause to rejoice, for He is not gone forever, never to return. He has descended into Hell, orchestrating the grandest rescue operation ever recorded. The scriptures state in Ephesians 4:8-9 that while He was in the grave, He led forth a host of captives, setting them free for all eternity! That's incredibly good news! He went "below grade" to give us an "upgrade" so to speak.
Jesus is our Rescuer, our Savior and Redeemer! And, on Easter Sunday when we celebrate His triumphant victory over death, sin and darkness, picture Him, grasping your hand too--pulling you up with Him out of the tomb to a new freedom in His light that can only be truly appreciated when you have walked with Him in the experience of His darkest hours. If you yourself feel buried alive, not living the abundant life that Christ came to give us, I pray that this will be the day that you will throw open wide the doors of your heart to Him and let the King of Glory do what He does best-- come in and bring His light, peace, love and joy to fill you today. Be free!
“...I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
I am sorry for living a life that is not always pleasing to You, stumbling around in darkness instead of living in the light, sometimes out of ignorance and other times out of my own free will. Thank You that You took the penalty for my sin and gave me instead Your love. You have set me free to live in Your light. Please come into my heart afresh and anew (or even for the first time.) I throw open wide the doors of my heart to You today, in praise of all that You have done for me. Please make me mindful of those around me that may still be in need of a loving rescue. Let me not point fingers, but point them towards the Light of You. I love You Lord. Please give me the grace to love You more! Praises be to You Lord God, for You never leave me alone in the dark. Thanks be to You.
I ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.