From my lips the prayer is released.
I watch it go up on something like angel wings
riding wherever the wind takes it,
but always climbing,
rising through a patch of clouds
and up into thin, cold air
through the blue
until the blue turns black
entering a fiery barricade and finally passing out into the glare of stars
giving way to darkness
until suddenly everything turns bright
into … a presence
gathered around a throne
attending to the source
then over them
where it enters the creator
where he weighs my supplication
and decides whether to grant it blessing
or in its denial, lead me to deeper surrender.
My prayer released from these lips
all the way to His hearing.
Pilate told his soldiers to make the tomb as secure as they could. I’m sure they followed orders, sealing it off with a barrier no man could ever defy. And yet, on this morning, they found the stone … rolled away. The man who was spit on, beaten and nailed to the cross was gone. His followers and his captors stared at the tomb in wonderment. The Son of God could’ve walked right through the massive stone—leaving the grave sealed. Or, if he wanted, he could have lifted the rock up in the air and smashed it to the ground in a million pieces. But he didn’t. He simply rolled it open and left his burial clothes as a sign. Jesus is risen. And no grave we make for ourselves is ever too great for him to undo.
I wonder sometimes what those three days must have been like. After watching him pierced and humiliated came the endless hours and sleepless nights without a Lord and Savior in the world. (Millions of people live like this everyday. I did, for a time.) Before sunrise on Sunday, the Lord kept his promise … he always does. He finished it. Death. Life as a slave to sin. If you aren’t following him, he can end it for you—give you a new life. One worth living. And a heart that causes you to love even the one or ones who pierced you deepest.
In the gospel written by Luke (a physician), he mentions that Jesus was in such anguished prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” I imagine every time Jesus prayed, it was fervent prayer—a moment to reconnect with his father. But this night (tonight) he knew all he was going to suffer the next day. Death, Satan himself, and maybe worse than that, the rejection, hatred and betrayal of the very people he came to redeem. Remember that in your prayers tonight. Remember that … whenever you pray.