Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, 
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
Psalm 85:11

I love to have beautiful flowers around my house.  There's nothing better than seeing them blooming beautifully during the summer, brightening up our yard.  The worst part, though, is taking care of them.  I don't like having to  plant and replant every year.  I don't like to have to constantly water them.  So my answer is to plant lots of perennials.

I plant the bulbs in the fall, then cover them up with lots of leaves and grass that Dan has picked up with the lawn mower.  They're there in the ground, waiting under a warm blanket all winter long.  Spring arrives, and I can hardly wait to get outside and uncover my plants.

I pull the leaves off the plants, and there they are.  Tender, green shoots, waiting to grow, bloom, and make our house and yard beautiful.  They've been buried under ground all winter long.  The warm sun brings them up out of the ground, bringing them to life. It's amazing, watching the brown, ugly bulbs become something to beautiful.  

It's a lot like Jesus' death and resurrection.  There, on the cross, Jesus endured the hell on earth of God forsaking him.  He took our sins--our ugliness, our wretchedness, all the awful things we do and say--and suffered for them, so we didn't have to.  He hung on that cross, stricken, smitten, and afflicted, and died for our sins.  

After his death, he was put in the grave.  For three days he lay there--what must have seemed like an eternity to his disciples and followers.  What joy they must have felt on Easter morn, upon learning that their Lord had risen from the dead!  Jesus literally sprung out from the grave, much like the flowers that spring out of the ground after a long winters' rest.

And God looked down on His Son, at the wonderful thing He did for all the sinners on Earth.  He looked down, just as the sun shines down on tender bulbs lying in the ground.  Imagine God smiling, with joy that could not be contained.  His joy shone on the earth, at the sight of His Son, risen from the dead.

As we're out in our gardens, tending plants; as we're in church; as we're celebrating Easter with our family and friends; as we take in all that spring has to offer us--may we remember the fulfillment of God's promise through Jesus on the cross.  Praise be to God that he gave us this gift of salvation!

Our Father in Heaven, like spring bulbs that are planted in the ground in the fall, we are dirty.  We are dirty in the sin that we commit every day.  We praise You for sending your Son down to Earth for us--to save us from that sin.  Thank you for his death on the cross.  We share your joy in His resurrection, and the fact that we will live forever too.  In Your name we pray, Amen.

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