I bet the grave was still dark when He opened His eyes. Waking to the sound of His own eternal breath, seeing angels stare Him in the eye, feeling His legs move; He was alive again. After three long days of death.

And I bet He smiled. Smiled for us. Smiled for Himself. Smiled for Heaven as He lifted His head off that hard ground. The Savior was alive again and earth would soon know that nothing could hold Him back. Not even death. Because there He was now standing, the God that came to save and did save the entire world.

As He walked out of that grave, I bet He looked towards Heaven. Son looking up at Father, I bet He couldn’t wait to get Home and talk about His 33 year journey to this rock and dirt plain. And earth now had access to Heaven. Children now had access to the heart of the Father. 

The Way had made a way. 

And I wonder sometimes how He woke up, you know? Did Holy Spirit hover close? Did angels touch His cold shoulder? Did His eyes just randomly open? And I just bet all of Heaven was at the edge of the eternal waiting, excitedly expectant that God would again do all He said He would do; except this time, the eternity of the world hung in the balance. 

And then He breathed again; and again, God was true to His word. 

sun and leaves

And the intricacy of it all astounds. How the King of Heaven and earth submitted to the will of His Father and left perfection to walk in imperfection. How He gave up the company of angels to become the company of sinners. How He traded streets of gold for dusty side roads, backroads and no roads. But more than anything, how He willingly gave 33 years apart from His Dad to give 33 years to us. 

Separation from the Father to eliminate separation from the Father. We’re still in awe today.

Because His Presence just changes the atmosphere and He knew we needed His time. Time to watch Him grow and teach and live out the Heaven words He spoke. He wouldn’t just come and then ascend back to His Home. He knew we needed the days and years and emotions and feelings. We needed His humanity to collide with ours and just for Him to be all that we are and yet completely all that we aren’t. We needed an example and a teacher; a guide and a friend.

We needed all of Him. 

“The King of Glory, Jesus, allowed Himself to be born in a borrowed stable. . . He had to learn a language. He had to be clothed and fed by someone. He just gave Himself away, always preferring others. He left His Kingdom, left His glory behind to show us how to live.” -Heidi Baker

How generous that He didn’t hesitate to really give His all. But that’s what you do when you love someone. And when you love an entire world? You give all you have and more. 

So when He opened His eyes from three days of death, I wonder if flashbacks came. A Father holding Son before He descended to earth only to wake up as a baby? A Son looking at Father one last time as He heard His assignment— years of humanity and a criminal’s death and three days in the grave to save them all forever. And then faces of mortals He adored: mother, father, family, disciples. Laughter and tears, questions and answers. Memories flooding a mind that created minds, I wonder if He just laid there awake for a few minutes. 

The assignment had been completed. Heaven invaded earth, really and truly invaded earth, and death just didn’t have the run of the mill anymore. A Son had loved His Father and trusted that His beautiful plan was worth His own life. The result? Eternity for all who believed. 

Oh, that we would learn to live with Him in such a way that we think of His interactions and emulate. To wake and look Heavenward with joy— Father has done again what He said He would do. His plan is perfect and I am His servant. I am a joy filled child of the One, true King. 

forest view

And then I think about the embrace that happened when He crossed the Heavenly threshold coming Home. My heart pounds and tears form at the thought of the running to, the holding again, the laughter that surrounded. A Son had obeyed and 33 years had separated. Sin had been defeated and a grave was now empty. A Father not only had His Son back, but an entire world of children now able to receive abundant life.

Separation from the Father was eliminated. 

Could anything truly be better? 

Can we even grasp the reality and abundance of it all? That our Jesus blinked in a grave He was put into. That our Jesus walked out of a tomb He was placed inside. That our Jesus, yeah, our Jesus, looked death in the eye and won.

The world is still ablaze from the glory of it all. 

So today when the world seems dark, remember a grave was once dark too. Until Jesus was placed inside. And we know what Jesus does with the dark: He will always turn on the Light.

What a way to start the week.

Come, burn bright, Lord Jesus. 

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