Friday, April 27, 2012

The Hope of Easter

A few weeks ago while taking a shower, I found myself thinking about Samuel's buried body.  Normally I try really, really hard not to think about his body -- about what it might be like now.  The thought turns my stomach.  (Samuel wasn't embalmed, something I found out when we got his death certificate in the mail.  Ever so kindly, Bryan's bosses took care of so many details for us so we wouldn't have to, and this was one of them.  I don't mind that he wasn't embalmed; honestly embalming seems a bit weird and seems to reflect our culture's fear of death and decay -- but those are normal parts of life.  Our aversion to them seems to mirror the superficiality of our world -- our concern with appearances and not the heart and soul of people, but that's a tangent and just my opinion.  The point is, Samuel's body has not been preserved in his casket.)  At times since Samuel's death, I have been haunted by images of his decaying body, but it hadn't surfaced in a long while, thankfully.  And usually when it does come to mind, I am pretty able to set it aside and not go there.  But this particular morning, I couldn't seem to muster the ability to move on.  That's when I realized it was Easter.  And somehow it felt fitting to think of my baby boy's body early on Easter morning. 

As I let the water run over me, I thought of my Savior's body in the tomb, of how three days later it would have started to decay and how Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome would have been prepared for the unpleasantness of a body that had been dead three days.  But when they arrived with their burial spices, He wasn't there!  The tomb was empty.  He was risen (Luke 16).

It's because of that truth that I don't have to worry about my Samuel's body.  Because Jesus rose, so will Samuel.  I Corinthians 6:14 says, "And God will raise our bodies from the dead by his marvelous power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead." And II Corinthians 4:14 says the same: "We know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you."  We have the hope of Heaven, of resurrection, of eternal life because of Easter morning.  Jesus defeated death, and because of that, so will we.  As Paul says in I Corinthians 16, "Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die.  Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory.  They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power....flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.  These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever...our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die."  Therefore I don't have to worry about the state of Samuel's body; it's irrelevant.  I will never see his earthly body again.  But I will someday see his resurrected, glorious, heavenly body.  That's the one I should think about.  That's the one I should dream of.  That's the one that houses my sweet Samuel, not the perishable one buried at Sawnee View Gardens.

It is Easter that gives me this comfort, this assurance, this hope, this truth.  It is Jesus that washes away my fears and instead envelopes me in peace and patience, waiting for the day when I can once again hold my sweet son -- in a body that I never have to fear to lose.  Because of Him I can say, "O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?" (I Corinthians 16:55).  Thank you, Jesus, for Easter!


  1. Oh Kathryn. This post brought tears to me eyes. Such a beautiful truth learned through pain. Thank you for sharing.

  2. What a healing realization to have on Easter. You've come through quite a journey to be able to let go of those most frightening images. I'm sending my love!