Rev. Robert Barnes was serving a church in Philadelphia, PA. His church had just bought a lot nearby so they could expand their parking lot. A small patch of Easter lilies had been growing on the lot for several years. The paving company came in and bulldozed the lilies, they then poured the asphalt. It wasn’t long before the congregation was using the new parking lot.
But an interesting thing occurred. The following Spring they began to notice something strange. The pavement of the new parking lot was starting to buckle and crack. Sure enough, the Easter lilies were poking up through the asphalt!
The meaning of Easter is that hope is always stronger than despair. It’s the fact that possibilities always exceed problems. It’s the fact that life is stronger than death. It’s the fact that God is in charge of everything. You can bury life in the ground, but sooner or later it will spring up once again. Life is poking up through the asphalt of death!
My friend Leigh Ann Raynor has written these words –
Easter Changes Everything
Every sorrow and every joy
Every battle, every defeat, every victory
Every fear and every act of courage
Every worry and every assurance
Every illness and every healing
Every conflict and every resolution
Every weakness and every strength
Every selfish act and every act of generosity
Every sin and every act of forgiveness
Every doubt and every belief
Every life and every death
Easter is something to shout about. The great British minister W. E. Sangster became ill in the 1950s. He developed an incurable disease that caused progressive muscular atrophy. Eventually, his voice failed and he was unable to swallow.
On Easter morning, just a few weeks before he died, he wrote a letter to his daughter. In it he said, “It is terrible to wake up on Easter morning and have no voice to shout ‘He is risen,’ but it would be even more terrible to have a voice and not want to shout.”
Easter is shouting time! Paul writes that the Lord will return with “a mighty shout and with the soul-stirring cry of the archangel and the great trumpet call of God” (I Thes. 4:16). It’s shouting time! Easter lilies are breaking through asphalt. Resurrected life is breaking through the chains of death. Hope is breaking through the cement of despair. Victory is breaking through the scoreboard of defeat.