Living in Brazil I never really noticed the changing of the seasons. In Rio, the weather is always sunny and warm. The trees are always green. The flowers are always there. We have some windy seasons, rainy seasons, and chilly seasons (which can’t even be called winter).
Living in Michigan I enjoy seeing the changes. The fall is my favorite season! All the beautiful colors, different combinations and contrasts makes me think that it must always be fall in Heaven. The winters, on the other hand, are hard, grey and a little sad. Now spring approaches, and I see the flowers starting to grow back, the weather getting warm and the sun coming out more often. I feel that sense of relief and think to myself “I made it through the winter and there’s hope! Now everything is going to get better and the summer is almost here!”. But what I love the most about spring in America is that it comes with the celebration of Easter. And Easter brings that same feeling of hope that spring brings to me.
We are living in difficult times. It’s been more than a year since the world began to face a global pandemic. Families have never been more distant, friends don’t come over anymore, and people’s smiles are hidden under masks. Usually on Easter people come together for Easter service and family gatherings afterwards. But this year things are different. We don’t know how many family gatherings will be canceled or how many people don’t have their loved ones here anymore. My heart breaks for those who are struggling in this season. But the good news is that Easter is here to remind us that there is hope.
After Jesus was unjustly arrested and wrongfully sentenced to the most cruel death, He died on the cross. That evening, He was buried and His body was put in a tomb.
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.Matthew 27:57-60
The next day, the Chief Priests and Pharisees remembered that Jesus said He would be raised on the third day and were worried about the disciples stealing Jesus’ body and claiming it was a miracle. So they put soldiers to guard the tomb and sealed the stone to make sure no one would have access to it.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.Matthew 27:62-66
The following day, it was a Sunday, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went to visit the tomb where Jesus was buried, so they could anoint him. On the way there, they were wondering how they would roll away the stone. When they got to the tomb, they saw that it was opened and the stone had been rolled back.
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”Mark 16:5-7
Jesus has risen! That is the message of Easter! He sure died but it didn’t end there. On the third day he has risen! I think about the disciples, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and other followers of Jesus, and how they were feeling during these few days that Jesus was in the grave. They were probably hopeless and fearful of what could happen; surely they were sad and still grieving. In the meanwhile, the Pharisees were making sure Jesus’ body would not leave the tomb. The beautiful thing about Easter, is that it reminds us that Jesus is not a victim of the story, He is the writer. He made a way and defeated the penalty of sin for us and resurrected on the third day as He promised.
Easter brings us hope because it is the consummation of God’s plan for our salvation. God loved us so much that he made a way to save us (John 3:16 ). He gave His only Son to die for us so we could have eternal life with Him. God allowed the evil motives of the Religious leaders and Judas to fulfill His plan for victory over death. Nothing can fall out of His control and His ways will come to pass, despite the darkness of this World (Mt. 16:18).
No matter the situation the world is facing, we can put our hope in God. God is the only one who can defeat sins’ effects and darkness in this world.
Ana Luiza Lupinetti is passionate about helping and serving people. As a pastor’s daughter and a pastor’s wife, she loves using her gifts and talents to help ministries succeed.