“concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:3-4
In many ways, that first Easter day was an altogether new Christmas day, because it was on that morning that Jesus had His second birth. This second birth of Christ was even more glorious and full of grandeur than His first. His first birth certainly had its disadvantages. However, in spite of what some might think, they were not disadvantages of a lowly manger or smelly stable. Rather, they were the disadvantages of His royal lineage. Those bands of swaddling clothes that wrapped His infant body were not the proof of His poverty. They were the glory of His ancestors since the royal line of David was separated from humanity’s main line. However, when Christ came out of that tomb on the first Easter morning He changed His lineage, broke the line of David and identified Himself with the lowliest. His second life didn’t stem from Bethlehem, but from the common dust of every city – the city of the dead.
Many times when we think of Jesus we mistakenly believe Him closer to us as the babe of Bethlehem. He was born as the Messiah to the Jews and had more in common with the tribes of Israel than with the tribes of Man. But, on that Easter morning He rose from the depths. He came up from the dust of death. He came from that place where all are joined together. That is the secret of His resurrection power. Everyone of us meet in that lowest of valleys. We don’t meet on the mountain – any mountain. We are not joined together by joy since the privilege of the Jew continually separates him from the Gentile. Tragedy, however, makes us one. Sin and death join us together. So, even though Christmas morning was truly beautiful, it was so because it came from golden fields. Easter morning is even more beautiful and glorious because it rises from the miry clay.
I greet the glory of Easter because it brings with it a message of hope for even my lowliest of moments. It carries the promise to lift me from my most prostrate hour. I could not run out to meet Elijah’s chariot, or greet Enoch’s translation for these are not victories over man’s most lowly moments – they were flights from it. They didn’t experience the mastering of the forces of death and decay, they avoided them and passed by death. But, Easter rose from the great sea. It has come from the wave that washed over the entire world. It raised its head from the cold and dark night. It has shone from that place of perpetual unshining – the place of complete and total despair. It has rung the joyful bells over the sight of my desolation. The wilderness has been made glad, and the desert has been made to bloom. A great oak has sprung up from where the thorn was expected, and the rose has bloomed where the briar should have been. Easter has made the most unlikely of places shout with praise because the hope that it brings is the hope from the dead.