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“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” (Psalm 5:3)

If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it – is there still a sound?  Remember that question you were probably asked and pondered as a child? It was learned about the same time as young people were told, “It will be okay . . . things will look better in the morning.”  I had a chance to recall both of these old sayings not so long ago on a late winter evening with high wind gusts. As the heavy winds picked up, I heard a thump outside. I was suspicious that a tree had fallen close to our home, and I assumed it was the dead one belonging to my neighbor that I had been concerned about for some time. A late evening peek outside verified that a tree had indeed come down next to the house, but it appeared to have caused little if any damage.  When I walked out onto the front lawn the next morning to get a better look, I was surprised to find that it was a live tree from my own yard that had toppled and took down two others, including the dead one belonging to the neighbor. It was then that I revised the old adage to now say, “Wait till morning when things may indeed look different.”

After Jesus had been crucified, He was place in a tomb sealed with a big stone and guarded by soldiers. In scripture, there are four accounts of what occurred on the morning we now refer to as Easter. Mark tells us that on “Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’” (Mark 16:1-3). These women were the first to witness that the world they thought they knew was about to be far different than they ever could have expected. Then they experienced the first indication that the darkness of grief, despair, and broken dreams was conquered. As another disciple picks up the account, we see that a new day has dawned: “Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you’” (Matthew 28:2-7).

There is just something about the morning that God holds dear. He dwells in perpetual light, and He appears to love the dawning of each new day. On that first Easter morning, Jesus triumphed over death and darkness and brought life and immortality to light. The fact that He was raised from death guaranteed that all evil and sorrow is only temporary, and that good and joy are eternal. Easter is about conquering all obstacles that get in the way of achieving the purpose of Christ. The stone was rolled away, not for Jesus to come out of the tomb, but instead for others to see its emptiness. Prior to that, there was a world of darkness. Then came the morning with a light that could never be extinguished. Before, there was a world of hate. Then came the morning, and love triumphed over hate. Previously, there had been a feeling of despair. Then came the morning, and hope was born anew. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate how the dawn of that new day changed everything. For those of us who love Christ, we come to understand that because of His resurrection, there is no end to our personal stones that need to be rolled away to fulfill God’s purpose for our own lives. Thus, we are comforted by these words: “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Jesus came to live and die for each of us. And just when many thought all hope was lost . . . then came morning, and the world was never the same again.

REFLECTON: Consider a time in your life when you felt all hope was lost. Did you face that occasion with or without Christ by your side? As you think about your huge personal obstacles that need to be ‘rolled away’ – will you run away trembling, fearful, and bewildered? Or, will you face the dawn knowing that the resurrected Jesus will provide hope and everlasting peace for each and every day that follows?


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