Hope. It echoed through the morning air as the women reached Peter and John and the rest, stammering with breathless excitement. "I have seen the Lord!"
"He's alive! Jesus is alive!"
The darkness, sorrow, fear, heartbreak, confusion, and doubt were suddenly shattered. Hope. A few bolted for the tomb, terrified and desperate for what they might find or not find. They found the stone rolled away, the tomb empty. And they believed.
Later, most of the disciples were together when their eyes beheld a sight none of them would ever forget. They saw Him with their own eyes. They saw, and other followers here and there saw, and over time great gatherings of people saw. Him. Their hope. Their risen victory.
The scars on His skin. The smile on His face. They could reach out and touch Him. The death they thought had destroyed their world was not a lingering reality. It was past. It did not last. It was finished. The reality that endured was standing in front of them. Life. The life that destroyed their world and made it new.
Jesus was alive. Jesus is alive. When we stake our lives on Him, our enduring reality is true life. Death cannot hold us because it could not hold Him.
Every morning, not just once a year, we are reminded of this reality. The rising sun. Fog ascending from the creek or the pond or the lake. The bustle of life-- whether birds chirping or cars starting. Every day, life begins anew. The night does not have the last word. There is victory.
There is hope.
There is Jesus.