From Suffering to Resurrection: Finding Restoration at Easter

март 29 2024 – Yuna R

This Easter season, my reflections have been deeply intertwined with two seemingly opposite themes: human suffering and the power of resurrection. Recently, I witnessed my father's health decline, culminating in an emergency admission to the hospital and requiring intubation. While not entirely unexpected, the sight of his frailty broke my heart, serving as a stark reminder of his long-standing suffering and poor health.

My father's journey parallels that of Job from the Bible, who endured immense suffering yet remained steadfast in his faith, ultimately experiencing God's faithfulness and restoration. Job's story resonates with me, offering solace and hope amidst the trials. Although my father's suffering continues, I see God's peace and joy in him, foreshadowing the restoration that is to come. Despite my father's physical and cognitive disabilities resulting from a major stroke twelve years ago, his faith remains unwavering. He finds solace in hymns, worship songs, and prayer, a testament to the enduring work of the Holy Spirit in his life.

As I write this today, my father is still in the hospital. This Easter season, his circumstances reminds me of Jesus' long suffering for the sake of humanity. Jesus, divine yet fully human, willingly embraced death to reconcile humanity with God. His ultimate sacrifice exemplifies sacrificial love and redemption. Isaiah 53:5 says, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed."

Amidst my father's suffering, I witness glimpses of resurrection power at work. I've watched my dad's speech slowly diminish over years, yet a song of praise is still upon his lips and heart. I've watched the look of confusion and panic on his face when he wakes up in a hospital, yet he still smiles at me and sleeps in peace. I know God's ministering angels bring him supernatural peace and endurance through his pain with the promise of resurrection life.  

1 Corinthians 15:35-44 in The Passion Translation beautifully illustrates the transformative power of resurrection:

"But someone will object and say, 'How can it be that dead people are raised with a new body? What kind of body will they have?' Just look at how God designed the natural world; there are no two seeds that grow in the soil that look alike. And the same is true for resurrected bodies. The heavenly realms and the earthly realms are not identical, for each realm is filled with its own wonder. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness. For in the resurrection realm, one thing is certain: What goes into the ground is no longer the same as what comes out. For what goes into the ground is not destined to come to life again, but to die. And what comes out of the ground, comes out of death—a new creation! So, don’t be surprised when I tell you that the children of God will rise up from among the dead along with him. For just as death has its dominion over humanity from Adam until now, even so, in the same way, Jesus, the Anointed One, will break the power of death’s dominion over us and bring to light the realm of incorruptible life! And this is the truth: Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God, and neither can that which is perishable inherit that which is imperishable."

Our earthly lives, often marked by suffering, are but temporary vessels, harboring the promise of eternal life in God's Kingdom. Just as Jesus conquered death and rose again, we too will inherit restored bodies and new life. One day my father will be fully healed; he will walk again, with his Savior. He will talk again, with his God. He will sing again with all of heaven's angels and saints. My father's healing and restoration will come, whether in this life or the next, according to God's perfect timing and will. 

As believers, we are infused with the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead. While this doesn't exempt us from pain or suffering in this life, it empowers us to navigate challenges with hope and faith. In this Easter season, let us cling to the hope of resurrection—the promise of restoration, renewal, and eternal life. Just as Christ's resurrection transformed the world, may it transform our lives, infusing every moment with hope, joy, and unwavering faith.

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