Easter is a celebration. We’re supposed to be excited. The person who loved us died, and three days later wasn’t dead, but alive. “He is risen!” He is risen indeed!” we tell each other.
But maybe your life doesn’t feel like Easter should. Maybe you feel so distant from God that Easter doesn’t make sense. Maybe you’ve cried out to God asking for answers to desperate prayers.
And all you hear is crushing silence.
My family felt that crushing silence when my twin brother died six weeks after birth. It hurts when a parent has to bury a child. It feels like God is silent.
If you’re walking through a really hard season of suffering, of hearing crushing silence, you’re not alone. In fact, your Savior knows exactly what you’re going through.
Jesus was in physical, emotional and spiritual agony when He went to the cross. He asked God to spare him the pain. He cried out “God, why have you forsaken me!?”
Jesus experienced suffering. He knows suffering. Jesus heard the crushing silence.
Did you know that Jesus was quoting scripture when He cried out to God? Centuries before Jesus carried the cross, David was in the midst of crushing silence.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me? I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but I find no rest.”
Those are words of suffering, and words written by someone touted as a man after God’s own heart.
And Jesus repeated those words. Jesus prayed those words. God gave us a prayer in the midst of crushing silence.
But there is more to this prayer that you must remind your soul. After spilling his hurt on paper, David followed with this: “Yet you are holy… in you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame… I will tell of your name to my friends; in the midst of the people I will praise you! He has not hidden his face from him, but has heard when he cried to him.”
Though in pain, David remembered how God had come through in the past. He knew God was faithful and could still be trusted. Jesus was in pain, and cried out to God in the silence. But He knew what was to come, and knew what God had prepared. The unbearable crushing silence would be broken by the music of heaven.
It is okay not to be okay. If you are facing crushing silence, remember Jesus experienced it, too. He experienced it when He carried the cross, and he experienced it when he died carrying your sins.
And three days later, He rose again. Death was defeated; the suffering ended. And you have an eternal hope that Jesus is coming back to finish what He started.
You can celebrate Easter. Jesus knows your suffering, God hears your prayers. That’s why He gave us hope in Jesus. Cry out to him and remember his faithfulness.