Eleven years ago on Easter Day was one of the worst days of my life. My family was going through a health crisis and I was given bad news that would rock my world for years to come.
Just like celebrating a wedding anniversary can bring you back to the time and place you spoke your vows, every year on Easter I’m brought back to that hospital room.
The crux of my faith has been centered around my belief in the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ brutal death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. Despite that, until recently, Easter was covered in a dark cloud every year.
In recent years, the memory of what happened has started to fade and the meaning of Easter runs deep. I believe there are two reasons for this.
First, the reality of what we celebrate on Easter has become more evident to me and it overshadows the awful memory I have of Easter day. The Bible calls this “light and momentary troubles”. They don’t feel light or momentary, but in comparison to eternity, they are worth burying in Christ’s grave.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” -2 Corinthians 4:17
Second, I’ve had time to heal.
People always say that time heals all wounds. I don’t think that’s true. Jesus heals all wounds. It just takes us time to bring our pain to Him.
Nearly a decade passed before I finally put my pain before the Lord. I’m not talking about prayers like “God please let me put this in my past.” I’m talking about doing the dirty work of dissecting what happened, how it hurt me, and discovering what God’s word says about freedom and delivery from pain.
Beth Moore’s “Breaking Free” study series was crucial to this process. She focuses on Isaiah 61, particularly verses 1-4.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.”
Every line of these verses acknowledged my past, but spoke to healing for my future. Bit by bit, I was able to heal.
These days Easter is an overwhelming event for me. I used to wonder why we acknowledged it each year when history never changed.
Now I understand the importance of celebrating Easter. When Jesus has healed something as painful as what I experienced, you enter into the death and resurrection with Him each time Easter is recognized.
Christ’s death conquered sin – including the pain I experienced. He buried it in the grave so that I could experience new life in His resurrection.