Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Night Before Easter

‘Tis the night before Easter, and all through the town, not a creature is stirring.  No gladness is found.
Disciples each cower alone in their bed. They fear for tomorrow.  Their Master is dead.

And I, in my sorrow, my shame and despair, try now to forget what it was to be there.
I was there in the garden. I was there for the trial. I was there for betrayal.  I was there for denial.

I hid in the crowd as He toiled up the hill. I watched from afar as they closed in to kill.
Between other crosses, His rose in the sky, as though to allow me to look in His eye.

I heard Him cry “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And I turned away.
Disgraced, in retreat, from the Skull-place I ran. Still I heard the hammers drive nails in His hands.

So now, as my slumber by heartbreak is torn, the hour passes midnight and heads to the morn.

I hear, or I dream, that there is such a clatter that women are running to see what is the matter.
The dawn on the crest of the newly-bought tomb gives a luster of brightness dispersing the gloom.

Then Mary is startled by two men in white who stand there beside her and give her a fright.
They say, “He is risen, just as He said! Why look for the living among all the dead?”

I open my eyes: this cannot be real. This is an illusion that day will reveal
To be but a dream, science fiction, a lie. I surely must know, for I saw Him die.

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but the face of the Master.  As I look, He comes near.
No door has He opened.  No window broke through.  Yet He stands right before me, the same Jesus who,
Spilling water and blood, was pierced with a spear.  He died just last Friday, yet now He is here.

His aura might cause me to ask who He is, but His voice, when He speaks, leaves no doubt: it is His.
His smile speaks forgiveness.  His arms open wide, as though I had never abandoned His side.

Why is this important?  What can it all mean?  His death on the cross is what washed us all clean.
But death could not cheat Him.  He’s fought, and He’s won.  His victory means our new life is begun.

 I follow His lead.  With His love I’m endowed.  I know I can trust Him, for he rose as He vowed. 
The grave cannot hold us.  Our souls will survive.  The world now is different, for Christ is alive!

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