Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  John 14:6

“Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, He has given us new life and a hope that lives on.”  1 Peter 1:3

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in graveyards - the privilege of last words spoken before dirt is shoveled back into a hole, over a casket.  Sometimes it has been for folks I barely knew - a part of being the preacher from “that church” when someone who used to be a member there passes on.  Sometimes it has been for church members who have been closer than my own family members.  And, after more than a few years of being a preacher, I get to be “the family preacher” who has a part in burying his own.

A graveyard is a logical place to go looking for history – for the last day to finally be etched on stone.  There are not many stones that have to be re-etched because somebody died and then “did a Lazarus.”  Dates on tombstones rarely need to be changed.  A graveyard is a logical place to look for historical accuracy.

A graveyard, though, is a strange place to go looking for hope.  As it turns out, though, the very center of hope for human beings is actually in a graveyard where there’s a borrowed tomb that, as it turns out, was only needed for a weekend.  Hope - because after a horrific death by scourge and crucifixion on Friday, Jesus walked out of the tomb on Sunday.  Walking out of His grave, Jesus defeated death.  As the days went forward, His words would ring in their ears, “I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life.”

Chances are that there will be new graves for us to stand by this year.  Graves that were not there last year.  Graves of loved ones who, because of what God did in Christ Jesus, we can whisper over, “See you soon.” (“Soon,” as reckoned on an eternal calendar.)  It doesn’t have to be a side-stepping, “They are in a better place.”  No.  Because of Jesus, this is the certain reality of God’s Word: “Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, He has given us new life and a hope that lives on.” 

A “living hope.”  Because of Easter, hope is not an “it.”  Hope is a “He.”

When Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in me will live, even though they die,” it is guaranteed by Easter.  Jesus crushed death.  And because He conquered death, He conquered the “dying moments” of life, if we accept His finished work in our lives.  And that means He is bigger than whatever is bigger than me.  His resurrection makes our im-possibles possible, what we are unable to do, do-able, and whatever is un-bearable, bearable.  Hope for hopelessness - a trade that started with an empty tomb.  And it continues, from an empty tomb, into lives focused on Him and His purposes for us.

How about because of Easter, we choose to worship God as if we aim to please Him, not us?  How about we choose to live for Him and His purposes, knowing He’s got all the stuff we worry about in life covered?