Day Eighteen: Praise Challenge


Chances are, you’re busy making preparations for tomorrow’s celebration.  Easter Sunday is a chance to get together with family and friends, feasting in remembrance of the greatest event in church history:  the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Hopefully, Jesus’ rising from the dead has become more to you than just church history.  It has definitely become the greatest event in my own personal life.  My home is already buzzing with activity, and I’m busy trying to get my lists and recipes organized!  Yes, it will be a great day indeed.

However, I don’t want to be so busy making preparations for tomorrow that I miss the opportunity for worship today.  Each year, we pause to remember the sacrifice of Good Friday and the triumph of Easter Sunday, and Saturday is lost in the chaos between the two.  But I often think about what this day was like for the watching, waiting world on the weekend Jesus layed His life down.  Saturday was a day for deep  reflection, I believe.

There must have been so many questions, for those who had believed in Him.  There must have been crippling fears, stinging accusations, and debilitating doubt.  Hope must have suffered a death blow, as the reality of grief came rolling in like massive ocean waves.  It was over.  And nobody knew what what would happen next.  More than likely, they were afraid to even think about it.  His disciples must have felt like laying down their own lives, too.  What was left for them, after such a life-transforming journey, now that death had stolen it all away?

Saturday was a heavy day, a dark day…for them.

But for us, Saturday is full of expectation and promise, because we live on this side of the Resurrection!  We know what they didn’t, that Easter Sunday was already on its way! On the day the world spent reeling from the shock of the death of the Son of God, we are engaged in preparations for a great party, because we know that He didn’t stay in the grave.  How blessed we are!  What a reason we truly have to praise the God Who turned the deepest mourning into dancing!

Today’s challenge is to remember the blessing we have in knowing the end of the story. Not just the end of Jesus’ story, but the end of our story as well – because of His story! Because we know that death and the grave could not hold Jesus in their grip, we know they cannot hold us, either.  There is no sin, no struggle, no darkness, no pain that will have ultimate or total power over us, because the resurrection life of Jesus in us is greater.  We are promised the same release that Jesus saw.  We, too, will rise and come through!

What a blessed assurance!  May your heart rejoice today as you prepare!  And may you begin to see your days between the dark night of defeat and the glorious morning of triumph with a great anticipation of God’s faithfulness in and through it all.


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