We’ve seen them hundreds of times. On the computer. On TV. At the airport or train station. In armories and gymnasiums. In parking lots and at football games and in classrooms. We’ve seen the heart-warming reunions of service men and service women with their families, friends and even dogs, as they return home from deployment.
No matter if the reunion was expected or a total surprise, they feature people racing to one another’s arms where they tumble into a crazy mix of smiles, tears of joy, hugs, laughs, kisses. I suspect those coming home and those doing the welcoming share a sense of relief and delight that the one who’s been gone is now at home, safe, with those they love and those they longed to be with for months and months.
Perhaps you’ve shed a tear, as I have, as you’ve witnessed one of these reunions because emotions are raw, excitement is high, joy is evident and the bonds of love are renewed and celebrated. They are remarkable moments that reveal some of the best moments of shared love on this side of heaven.
And because they are, I have often found myself thinking that if an earthly reunion with loved ones can be so special, how amazing will that day be when our journey on earth is through and we’re reunited, for eternity, with our Father—the one who gave us life and the one who loves, and will love us in ways we can hardly begin to imagine.
Easter is the reason we can look forward to that day when we pass from life to life, in such a positive way. Because Christ took on all the horrible powers of this world—because he faced evil and sin and took the abuse and the worst that this world could throw at him, and emerged the Victor—we now have hope that this life is not the only life. We now have hope that, because we’ve cast our lot with Christ, he’ll prepare a home for us where we will be reunited with him and our God and where we’ll live forever.
Easter is the reason we have nothing to fear. Because of the resurrection, we know that sin, evil and death will never have the final word. Because Jesus conquered death, we have proof that justice and goodness, and love will prevail. Because of Jesus, and his victory over death, we know we will always be safe—no matter what. Because of the Resurrection, as noted theologian Frederick Buechner said, “the worst thing is never the last thing.” God will always have the last word, and that last word will always be love!
So, Happy Easter! Christ, our Lord is Risen! And because he is, our joy will never end!