And so it is Easter. It’s the day of all days, the day that makes everything else well and good.

Every single other thing is well and good because of today. Every broken heart, every broken dream, every broken marriage, every broken body, every broken life… today promises it won’t always be.

This week, I held Peter’s hand and listened as he told me about his pastor, the leader in our community who died unexpectedly on Wednesday. Jim Dixon’s death is sad because deaths are, because goodbyes matter, and because we do not grieve as those who do not have hope, but still we grieve. He is the founding pastor of a megachurch in our community, and in his teaching, his love, and his service, he was Jesus to Peter.

We’ve talked so much this week about the timing of his death, right in the middle of holy week, right in time for Jim to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with—in fact—the resurrected Jesus.

The thing is, people who have said goodbye to someone they love are the people who recognize how much the resurrection of Jesus really matters. We are people who have been forced into a corner, watching the end of life as we know it, and we’ve come to recognize that resurrection is our only hope. In the face of no other hope, we’ve grabbed on to this one life raft.

This promise of ongoing life has been our comfort in the face of death. We live for the reminder that Jesus stands before and beyond the limits of birth and death. That, because he lives, we can face tomorrow. That death is not the end, only the beginning.

As Nancy Guthrie wrote, “Resurrection is the basket we’ve placed all our eggs into.”

Here’s what I know. Believing in God doesn’t take away pain or fear or death or loss or sadness. It all still happens to you and your heart. You still long for the ones you love, and you still want them here.

But if you believe in Jesus, your love for the people you’ve lost and your confidence in the promises of God will actually begin to shape this ache of sorrow into an anticipation of joy.  You begin to truly believe and long for the reality of life after and outside of this one. Your thoughts become less sentimental and more solid and sure. Heaven isn’t a dream or an idea, but a very real place where people you know are waiting for you.

And so it is Easter. It’s the day of all days, the day that makes everything else well and good.

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We believe in God the Father.

We believe in Jesus Christ.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

That he’s given us new life.

We believe in the crucifixion.

We believe that he conquered death.

We believe in the resurrection,

That he’s coming back again.

We believe.

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