Can you even imagine the chaos of that first day following the resurrection?
For three long days, Jesus's friends had been wrapped in a heart-wrenching cloud of grief after watching the brutal murder of their Lord—gripped by anxiety and fear, hardly able to process (let alone understand!) what had happened, what the future held for them.
And then the angel at the tomb speaks to the women: "He is not here . . . He is risen!"
Immediately their grief becomes hope, exuberant joy, unspeakable relief, uncontainable thanksgiving for what they hardly could have hoped: HE IS ALIVE! And as they run wildly to share the news, they are stopped in their tracks:
JESUS! Their beloved Lord, whose lifeless body they had just held, now standing in front of them, speaking to them, indeed very much alive!
Can anyone deny this miracle? Can anyone deny His absolute Divinity?!
But immediately, Satan finds a way to plant the lies and sow the seeds of doubt. The guards who are witness to this miracle—this living Savior of the world who has literally crushed death—are paid off by the chief priests who cannot bear to accept the True Living God because their pride is their god.
And so, from the first moments of the resurrection, there is a choice for every human whose ears are privy to the good news: have faith in the outlandish, miraculous, life-changing truth? Or swallow the saner-sounding, soul-starving, fabricated safety of a lie?
The truth, when held up against the "safety" of this lie, did not turn out to be comfortable. It required courage and unshakeable faith. It created martyrs. But it led to a beautiful reality that could not be denied or taken away: true life.
Compared with that Resurrection Morning, choosing our faith these days is sometimes portrayed as equally ludicrous. The world tells us over and over in different ways that our faith is laughable, our practices inconvenient, and our beliefs an absolute afront to modern culture. The lies are more palatable, so the world closes its ears and wills us to close our mouths to the truth, to let our faith slip through the cracks.
But, as the First Reading said, the Truth, who is Jesus Christ, cannot be contained by anything—even death. "It was not possible for Him to be held by it."
And so we choose our faith, no matter what the world says, knowing that in it we also choose the truth and its rewards. The reward of soul-nourishing, everlasting life. The reward of uncontainable joy. The reward of running to share that joy and ultimately coming face-to-face with the living, breathing, love-filled face of our resurrected Jesus.
Fear of living and sharing the truth can rule over our hearts far too often. How can you turn that fear around and joyfully share your faith today?
Megan Hjelmstad is a wife, mom, writer and sometimes soldier whose real passion is equal parts faith and chocolate. You can find out more about her here.