The light of Sunday breaks across the day.
Sunday is here. We can take a deep breath.
2,000 years later we wake on Sunday and we KNOW what this day means… we know that this is the morning where Jesus waltzed out of hell, with the key swinging at his side.
We know that this is the morning that his apparent defeat became the greatest victory of all time.
But they didn’t know. His mother, his disciples, his loved ones, his family, his followers… they didn’t know.
They woke to another day without him.
They woke to another day of confusion and grief and sorrow and fear. They woke to a day full of so much emotion.
The women went to the tomb in preparation to anoint Jesus’ dead body. They went to grieve and pay respects.
Instead, they heard the most glorious words that have ever been spoken, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said” Matthew 28:5 NIV
Imagine the rush of conflicting emotion the women must have felt!
The dawn and light of Sunday morning
With the dawn of Sunday morning came a newness that we won’t know again until Jesus comes.
With the dawn of Sunday morning came the answer to the events of that darkest dark Friday.
With the dawn of Sunday morning came the sweetest shift in the fabric of the world.
Jesus is risen.
He suffered the darkest dark of Friday, so the light of Sunday could break across the day and change the course of all mankind.
Because of that Sunday, the victory that feels like is never coming is already here.
No matter how you feel this morning- whether you bask in the good news or feel complacent or feel downright sad/angry/confused, the victory is here. HE is here.
The gift of this victory lives with us daily, whether or not we feel or see or experience him.
He left us with the Holy Spirit- a wonderful, majestic, mysterious piece of himself.
We may know that Jesus left us the Holy Spirit, but do we really know what a gift he really is?
I didn’t, but I’m learning. I’m learning that the breath of the Holy Spirit is active and all around me. I’m learning the power of the Holy Spirit to move my soul and shake the fabric of my world.
I don’t always see him, though. I don’t always open myself to him. It’s risky, to open my awareness, my heart, my soul to him. I never know what he’ll say or do. I never know what he’ll show me.
It’s always deep, rich, raw.
And sometimes I get stuck in the darkness of Friday. Sometimes I stay stuck in the space after the Cross. But the truth is that I live in the dawn of Sunday morning.
We all do.
We all live awash in the reality of the gift that Jesus loved us so much that he suffered Friday- so he could conquer Friday and show us his scars on Sunday.
Living in the light of Sunday
What does it actually mean to experience the Holy Spirit? To live in Sunday?
The misnomer that it means we are happy all the time and experience no difficulty- no questions, no uncertainty, no pain, no fear is a severe distortion from Satan.
I like to look at Peter for an example of what it looks like to allow the Holy Spirit into your heart and soul.
One of the most tender, compassionate, grace filled moments comes when the angel tells the women to “Go tell the disciples and Peter”. Mark 16:7
Can you IMAGINE how dark Friday has been for Peter? Can you imagine the depth of shame and sorrow and regret and torment he is experiencing?
He loved Jesus so fiercely he literally cut off someone’s ear- while facing an army, mind you. But then hours later, he denied not only this fierce love, but he denied even remotely knowing Jesus- THREE TIMES.
The shame that he felt must have been crushing.
But the angel, at the request of Jesus, makes sure to point out “go tell Peter”. I think he needed that good news more than any of them. And I think Jesus was giving us an example of his tender mercy.
Our darkness can feel like it’s snatching us away from him, but it can’t. He truly is bigger and stronger.
His love, his grace is bigger and stronger and deeper than our darkness. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that. And that’s okay.
He’s there to gently remind you, just like he did with Peter.
Your darkness is not bigger than his light.
He still has the key to hell. He still conquered Satan. His gift is STILL good.
Don’t pretend your darkness doesn’t exist- that’s not what he wants.
What he does want is for you to look at the light of his face.
Because you will the see the blinding light of love that is overwhelming.
Let’s follow Peter so we see an example how to live. Most people love Peter because we all identify with him. His life after the gift of Jesus’ resurrection didn’t mean he no longer struggled.
It changed him. Later in Scripture, we see him, boldly speaking hard truth to the same men that crucified Jesus. We see him performing miracles. We see him boldly living life for God.
It doesn’t mean that Peter became perfect, sinless, or perpetually happy.
It means that he allowed Jesus to lead him into places that he wouldn’t naturally go on his own. Not only physical places, but emotional, mental, spiritual places.
Places that must have been scary and shame inducing.
The places Peter went aren’t the places you will go. That’s okay and it doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit isn’t truly living in you. It doesn’t mean you aren’t living in Sunday. The truth is, no matter your location, your emotion, your experience, your circumstance, your behavior- you are living in Sunday.
Because He is Risen. And the Holy Spirit is here.
So, when you’re overwhelmed, remember him.
When you’re stuck in your darkness, remember him.
When you’re rejoicing, remember him.
Whatever emotion or experience you are in, remember him.
Living in the light of Sunday means we make space to see him, to focus on him despite the war that is raging around us. Despite the darkness, living in Sunday means he’s here, in spite of sin and shame and death, he’s here.
No matter what your darkness, He won. The light of his victory is brighter than your darkness could ever begin to be.
Today and for all eternity.
Happy Easter, my friend. No matter what emotion you wake with today, know that the victory has been won and the gift is here so that he can stand beside you and say;