May you be free from “sin’s dark prison” from this moment forward.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Sorrow turned into joy
We probably all have experienced the sorrow of a loved one leaving home for school, a new job or marriage. We miss them. We worry about them. We count the days until they return, knowing our joy will also return.
Before Jesus died on the cross, He told His disciples, “… you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” (John 16:20) Jesus compared their anguish to that of a woman whose painful labor turns to joy when her child is born. The disciples’ sorrow would vanish but their joy would remain after Jesus’ resurrection.
When we think about the suffering Jesus endured for our sake, we too may find it easy to weep and lament. Compared to the real event some two thousand years ago, today’s dramas portraying His death are but foggy mirrors. Yet they are cause enough for weeping because we can’t help but feel deep sorrow over His sacrifice.
The good news—the best news ever—is His death was not the end of the story. Because of Jesus’ miraculous, bodily resurrection, we can rejoice knowing that because He lives, we too shall live. The crosses we carry and wear around our necks are now reminders of His amazing love for us. The spring flowers that adorn our churches and are bursting open in nature just as Jesus burst His three-days’ prison.
A nineteenth-century writer, Cecil F. Alexander, penned a song entitled “He is Risen”, which reminds us we can be freed from sorrow and experience the joy of knowing the hope of eternal life with our Savior.
“Said the angel, ‘He is risen!’ Tell it out with joyful voice:
He had burst His three days’ prison; let the whole wide earth rejoice:
Death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory.
Come, ye sad and fearful hearted, with glad smile and radiant brow!
Death’s long shadows have departed; all our woes are over now,
Due to passion that He bore sin and pain can vex no more.
Come, with high and holy hymning, chant our Lord’s triumphant day;
Not one darksome cloud is dimming yonder glorious morning ran,
Breaking over the purple east: brighter far our Easter feast.
He is risen, He is risen! He has opened heaven’s gate:
We are free from sin’s dark prison, risen to a holier state.”
Lord, thank You for the joy in knowing we will conquer death for everlasting life as You did for us. We sing praise and glorify You in Jesus’ name. Amen.