He is not here, He is risen!

Easter has always been my favorite Sunday for as long as I can remember, and as I’ve gotten older it has become one of my favorite days of the year. If not for Easter, my other favorite days would be meaningless.

When I was a little girl, I liked Easter because I got a pretty new dress and we always went to see my grandparents in Dublin, GA and would hunt Easter eggs with my cousins. Now, Easter is so special because of what it is a celebration and remembrance of: Over 2000 years ago on the very first Easter, Christ rose from the grave. Final victory over the curse of sin was won, not just by His death on the cross, but also by His resurrection.

Because of Easter, those who believe in Christ have hope of our life to come in Heaven with our creator. Because of Easter, those who have placed their trust in Christ can trust that life’s trials are not meaningless. Earthly sorrow may last for a season, but unending eternal joy will one day be ours because of the death and resurrection of Christ. Christmas is truly a special day worthy of great celebration, but Christmas without Easter would have been meaningless.

The Chronicle of Narnia have long been one of my favorite book series and I can’t even remember how many times I have read The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It is an intriguing, compelling story that draws the reader into the fight between the White Witch and Aslan, winter and spring, good and evil. It is also an allegory of the gospel. The lion, Aslan, represents Christ and Jadis, the White Witch, represents sin and death. At the beginning of the story, we find a Narnia where is it “always winter and never Christmas” due to a spell the White Witch has placed upon Narnia. (Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read the book and don’t want a spoiler, skip ahead to the next paragraph) The simple version is that caught up by tempting promises made to him by the White Witch, Edmund betrays Aslan, his siblings and their beaver hosts. He then becomes her prisoner and is powerless to save himself, despite his remorse. Aslan has Edmund rescued and all seems to be well. However, according to the Deep Magic, which has governed Narnia since its creation, the White Witch has legal authority to kill traitors and Narnia will cease to exist if she is denied this right.  Aslan willingly dies a brutal death in Edmund’s place and the White Witch’s followers rejoice. It seems that all hope is lost and the White Witch will continue her reign.  Unknown to the White Witch however, there was a deeper magic that stated if an innocent person willingly laid down his life for a traitor, the Deep Magic would be broken, the stone table on which the Deep Magic was written cracked in two, and death itself reversed. As the two Pevensie sisters are mourning his death, to their amazement they find that the Aslan whose death they had witnessed, is now 100% alive. Meanwhile, a tremendous battle is raging between the forces of good and evil. Aslan arrives and the White Witch is defeated.

One of my favorite quotes from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is “wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight. At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more. When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death. And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

That is such a good summation of Easter. Wrong has been made right. For those who believe in Christ, our spiritual winter or deadness has ended and we have spring, or new life.  Until Christ’s second coming, though we will experience physical death, illness, and sorrows of many kinds, their power and eternal consequences have already been broken.  Easter reminds us what is to come. One day Christ will return again and sorrow and death will truly be no more. Because of Easter, for those who are believers in Christ, earthly deaths are not a permanent goodbye but rather a see you later. Because of Easter, we can trust that our earthly trials are not for our harm, but for our eternal good. Because of Easter, we know that sorrow may last for the night, but joy will come in the morning. Because of Easter, I am alive. Both now and forever.

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