Easter is Fulfillment
My Grandfather died a few weeks ago.
He was not a grandfather that lived hundreds of miles away, fly-fishing in his spare time, only occasionally checking in with his family. He lived in our home, most of my life. He was present, and hands-on, and available. He was the theological and relational rigging on which we all felt safe to cling.
His death feels like a never ending crashing wave that repeatedly slams us to the ocean floor. Though we rest in the assurance he now resides in heaven, we still feel the wave, and the abrasive sand beneath. We long for his presence.
Love separated, hurts.
That is the story of Gethsemane.
Before Jesus resigned to his fate on the cross, he spoke with his Father in heaven. As he fell prostrate on his face in Gethsemane, he said to God, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”
He did not ask this in passivity. He prayed it not once, but three times. How often do we beg God for something three times over? Perhaps we ought to.
The profound cause of this plea from Son to Father, is often under-whelming to us. Perhaps this is a moment of weakness for Jesus, we might think. He's admitting he's afraid of death.
It’s unflattering, that our Savior would be seen like this, just before his great sacrifice.
But I've found it helpful to consider the love of this particular bond between Father and Son.
Was Jesus saying “I really don’t prefer pain. God, is there an easier way?” Perhaps that was part of it.
Or was he saying, “Father, the pain of being separated from you is too great a loss to comprehend.” Jesus knew what lay before him in the cross and three days dead in the tomb.
Because once you’ve known God intimately, you cannot bear to be without him.
The bitterness of my Grandfather's death lingers fresh on my body. But the power of the word “resurrection” impresses upon my soul. I find great comfort in Jesus as the embodiment of promises fulfilled.
His resurrection reminds me our earthly mourning, which is so devastating now, will be erased and that separation will be no more. No longer will the dead and the living experience the great divide. How beautiful.