He is risen! 72 dead in Pakistan

Emotional whiplash. That’s how it felt to me. Much, much worse for others.

Yesterday, with my church family, I celebrated the most important event of our faith; the resurrection of Jesus. We talked about the contrast of emotions that the disciples must have experienced. On Friday, their teacher and friend was crucified and entombed behind a massive stone. On Sunday, he arose. Hopelessness to hope. Despair to joy. The equation always moves in that direction on Easter Sunday: death to life. That’s the beauty of Easter.

But yesterday, for Christians in Lahore, Pakistan, the equation took a U-turn.

As several families celebrated the life-giving hope of the resurrection of Jesus, death to life—death robbed them of their loved ones. Most of the dead were women and small children. The distance between the joy they were feeling and grief that descended upon them is incalculable. Death to life—and back to death.

Easter isn’t supposed to take a U-turn like that, but it did, and I would not dare to offer answers.

The tragic events in Pakistan affirmed something for me. We talk about Jesus being in the tomb, behind the stone, but I believe that’s exactly backwards. Hatred, murder, rape, assault, bigotry, greed, selfishness, unkindness and all manner of death exist on our side of the stone, not the other. We are in the tomb. We are behind the stone. My only hope is this: Life is on the other side, and Life has rolled the stone away.

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