My friend listened intently as I shared about my health, which had become an increasingly heavy burden. She nodded in empathy and offered a small word of encouragement, one I’ve never forgotten:
“Remember that the Cross always leads to Resurrection—at least, when we unite our sufferings to Christ.”
We have all carried our fair (or unfair) share of crosses, and we all have been in that place of longing for resurrection—wondering if it will ever come. Sometimes that resurrection is clear as day, filled with joy uncontainable and hallelujahs in the highest. More often, though, resurrection creeps in quietly, almost imperceptibly, with the graduating light of dawn—just as it did on the first Easter.
On that glorious morning, resurrection reigned victorious; Christ had unequivocally conquered death.
Yet His beloved Apostles and friends had yet to perceive it. Mary Magdalene was cloaked in grief (see John 20:2). The Apostles remained shrouded in fear, confusion, and utter disbelief (see John 20:9). When Christ appeared to them days later, they struggled to grasp the truth of resurrection even as Resurrection Himself stood before them in the risen flesh (see John 20:25).
Resurrection is not a miracle of worldly comfort, delivering us from every pain or fear or doubt. Yet for the faithful, it promises and delivers something greater: light in the deepest of darkness, life in the most hopeless, crucified places.
Not once did the Apostles’ difficulty in perceiving the reality of Jesus' Resurrection negate its truth.
Neither does our lack of perception change the reality that resurrection is truth for us, too—in every moment we cleave to Christ. It’s the truth of our ultimate destination, and it's the truth of every offered cross along the way.
Sometimes our resurrection comes slowly, almost imperceptibly, like the dawn. Sometimes it looks different than expected and worldly pain, doubt, and confusion can linger.
But today we stand in the irrevocable truth that every cross united to Christ will always, without fail, lead to resurrection.
Lord Jesus Christ, Risen King of Glory, grace us with eyes of faith on this glorious Easter Day—that we may catch sight of all the life and resurrection You lovingly bring from our every cross.
Megan Hjelmstad is a wife and mom 24/7 and an Army Reservist in her “spare” time. She is the Stories Manager for the Blessed is She Instagram account. She’s a bibliophile, tea drinker, sleep lover, and avid admirer of Colorado’s great outdoors. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. When the writing bug hits, you can find out more about her here.