Budding trees trembled with the weight of snow on their branches. Tulips and daffodils bowed their sullen heads to say goodbye. Was it only yesterday they greeted us with smiling bouquets? Our time together was so brief! I want to coax them back to life. I want to deny the cold and its power to destroy. Ultimately, I know they are gone…though I long for Spring to come and conquer the Winter once and for all.
That’s how it is with resurrections. Rolling away stones is hard…and it takes a lot of time and effort. The dark hours before dawn are filled with the difficult task of transformation…and then there is the waiting…interminable waiting. The bulb must break open and die for the sprout to struggle free and journey slowly through the cold, dark earth. It must suffer through the task of growing through the layers of loam…and maybe stones, before it can encounter sunshine and warmth. It must push its way through the hard-packed soil before it can experience the life-giving rays of sun.
You and I must walk the dark road to Calvary. We placed more than a few nails in the cross…whether we meant to or not. We have to wait, sometimes in darkness, to be transformed. Wait in the cold, musty silence of the tomb for something new to grow within us. We have to allow our hearts to open just enough for something to sprout and inch its way through the dark, crusty layers we allowed to build up…until it can burst through and open wide…wide enough to accept the abundance of love…and grace that awaits its arrival.
The darkness, the waiting, the hard work of growing and changing, the struggle of moving ever upward, no matter how slow the journey…the arduous task of rolling back stones, are all necessary to resurrection. We cannot see Light, if we do not acknowledge darkness. We cannot claim an eternity if we do not spend time in anticipation. We cannot transform our lives into something worthy of resurrection if we do not experience the pain of growth. We cannot roll back the stone if we do not struggle, first, with a death to self. We cannot know life-giving Light if we do not step out of the tomb and into the world. We cannot know love…or grace if we are not willing to allow them to rain on others.