Lent is over, Easter is over.
Now what? We get to return to chocolate, Facebook, Twitter, red wine, whatever again. Maybe we even overdo it a little, just to catch up!
Still, I think there is more to this week – the week after Easter, than an end. It’s a great opportunity to look again at an empty cross.
I’ve tended to dwell on Good Friday. But this year it’s the empty cross that has captured me. I’ve been reminded that the cross wasn’t just an end to the old stuff. It was also a new beginning, a new life. A different life. Not just the absence of the bad stuff, but the ongoing presence and vitality of the new.
Throughout Lent, as I felt challenged to lay things down for Him, I experienced fresh glimpses of a life unhindered. It was a life that was free from the clutter that I too easily acquire, a life that was simpler. It felt good not to be owned. It was a life that was uncomfortable when I had to face myself, but was freer for the experience of doing so. It was a life that was freer to follow Jesus, to live for Jesus.
I’ve often made the cross my finishing point .I’ve struggled and wrestled and grieved there as I’ve lived in the hollow desolation of Good Friday. But Jesus said he is “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). Easter Sunday is here, for more than a day and I’m alive. In Him I am alive. The cross is where it all begins.
So surely it’s time to live, really live in the power and the freedom of the resurrection?
It’s not just the death of my past, but the invigorating life of a hope and a future. Not just freedom from insecurities, but life as a secure woman. Not just freedom from sin; but a holy everyday life, in my thoughts, words, relationships, values, actions.
That’s the journey Lent got me on: the process where death to my way makes room for God’s way in my everyday life.
Why would I want to go back to the way things were before? The practices I can take or leave; the freedom, I’m holding on to!
Here’s to LIFE!