The earth is waking up from its long winter’s sleep and is coming to life once more. Over the hills, and across the meadows and fields, the grass grows greener each day. Yellow crocuses and creamy jonquils greet the day in cheery fashion, and the rejoicing of the songbirds fills the early morning air.
Buds swell on the lilac bush, with purple tips barely peeping through their green coverings. The increasing warmth of the sun is coaxing the woodland plants to shoot up through the dry, brown leaves covering the forest floor, as winter begins to take a back seat. The earth seems to bestir itself and shake off the drowsiness, as life-giving sap flows once more through the tree trunks and plant life.
Everywhere there is new life and new growth. Out in the barn lots, young colts frolic and play; baby calves stretch out in the warm sunshine and sleep while their mothers graze nearby. Woolly lambs cry after their placid mothers, and the air is full of the sounds of spring.
What a wonderful season to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! I know that a true child of God rejoices every day in the fact of our risen Savior, but Easter is a special time to give praise and homage to our King. Just as we exult in the spring sunrise, so much more can we thank God for the prophesy given in Luke 1:76-79, “And thou child (speaking of John the Baptist) shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for Thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins; Through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace.”
I am so thankful that the “Dayspring from on high” has visited me. My life was once bleak winter; cold and barren. I was clothed in the rags of my sin, lonely, depressed and heavy hearted. (Isaiah 59-2) “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have his His face from you, that He will not hear.” When I reached the depths of my despair, God spoke to me in tender mercy. He washed my sins away in His blood, and now I know the reason for Calvary.
The days preceding Calvary were dark indeed. Christ’s disciples, who had followed Him faithfully in the years of His ministry, saw their Lord and Master arrested and taken before the Council, and then delivered unto the governor, Pontius Pilate. They were frightened and bewildered. Jesus saw them forsake Him, and Simon Peter deny Him. When He hung on the cross, Jesus felt completely alone as he cried unto God the Father, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Jesus, who was sinless, took on our sins and died for all of us, separated from His Father.
Dark, dark days-the Messiah was really dead and placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Pilate had given orders that the sepulcher was to be sealed with a great stone, and a watch set over the tomb. Hope had vanished and the disciples had scattered. The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee had watched the crucifixion from afar off, came early to the tomb to anoint His body with sweet spices. As they approached the tomb at the rising of the sun, they wondered among themselves who would roll away the stone, for it was very great.
Oh, glorious day! The stone was rolled away, and Jesus had risen! His mission on earth was complete, and the plan of salvation was finished. He opened the door of redemption, that each person might have access to eternal life. (“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”)
I am so thankful for the day that Jesus rolled the stone of sin and despair from my heart. He is still rolling away stones in my life-stones of disappointment; stones of fears and doubts. This is a rejoicing season, but every day I am thankful for a Savior who came to seek and save that which was lost. I was lost, but now I’m found.
He lives! Because He lives, I can live also!
THE LENT LILY
By A. E. Housman
“Tis spring; come out to ramble
The hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble
About the hollow ground
The primroses are found.
And there’s the windflower chilly
With all the winds at play,
And there’s the Lenten lily
That has not long to stay
And dies on Easter day.
And since till girls go maying
You find the primrose still,
And find the windflower playing
With every wind at will,
But not the daffodil.
Bring baskets now, and sally
Upon the spring’s array,
And bear from hill and valley
The daffodil away
That dies on Easter day.