Friday nights in my house mean getting pizza from my favorite local pizza joint, sweatpants and snuggling up with my not-so-little boys to watch a movie. (Side note: That’s Amore in Crystal Lake has the best pizza. Yes, and amen.)
A few weeks ago, I introduced my youngest son, Chase, to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the classic C.S. Lewis tale of three siblings who find themselves transported to the magical land of Narnia, where they become a part of an epic tale of good versus evil, life versus death, hope versus despair. Lewis masterfully presents an allegory of the Gospel, and as I watched Aslan lay his life down for a traitor, I soberly considered, “Jesus gave himself for me.” When the stone cracked, and Aslan rose from the dead, gloriously victorious, I wanted to jump off the couch in celebration.
But it’s what happens next that made the tears fall down my cheeks and what has me holding firmly to so much hope during Easter:
Aslan rises from the dead, victorious and a conqueror. He paid the price for Edmund’s treachery and restored Edmund to purpose and his rightful place as a King of Narnia. But Aslan was not done—Aslan was on the move. In one great battle scene, Aslan defeats the white witch once and for all and then moves from creature to creature that had been wounded and devastated by her reign and wrath, and He walks through the field breathing new life and healing onto each of them. As more and more Narnian beings are restored, they participate in Aslan’s restorative work.
2000 years ago, Jesus literally gave His life to pay the price of all our wrongs and sin; for the darkness in our hearts. But three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. Actually. Literally. I love what the Apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1:16:
“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
A literal, actual miracle of resurrection. The King is alive!
So why is the world still so broken? How do we have hope in a resurrected King when there are famines, wars, hatred across people groups, and even hatred in our own hearts?
History gives us a bit of insight. It is common that when a war has ended, and even when peace treaties are signed, battles still rage on the outskirts. The War of 1812, the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War, both World Wars, and more all ended while some battles flared post-war. The cease-fire would take time to disseminate. Restoration would take time, even though victory had already been secured.
Jesus died. Jesus rose. The war against sin and death was decisively won, and our King is on the move even while evil continues to bite back with residual battles. Jesus is alive. We are free. Once we have received new life offered through faith in Him, we get to work alongside our King to restore His kingdom wherever we go.
Whatever circumstances you may be facing, Easter proves we can hold on to hope: our King is alive, and He is on the move.