Today the forecast for Auburn is thunderstorms – some possibly severe. That forecast reminded me of Easter, 1998 when we were living in Dunwoody, Georgia. It was just the 3 of us – my son yet to be born. We went to bed Wednesday night before Easter knowing bad weather was possible – even probable because the weatherman had predicted severe thunderstorms with the possibility of tornados. Our house felt overly stuffy that night so we went to bed with the windows open to let in some fresh air. We could feel the pressure changing. We knew something bad was coming.
I remember not being able to sleep at all that night. Then sometime after midnight – I don’t know the exact time – my husband and I were jolted out of bed by what could only be described as the loudest, most frightening noise I’ve ever heard. A freight train? Possibly. The end of the world? Definitely.
We didn’t have time to listen to the weather radio. And I don’t remember a siren although even if it had gone off the sound of the tornado would have drowned it out completely. Yes, we should have spent the night in our safe place, but really what were the chances we’d be the bullseye for the 1998 Dunwoody tornados? (Apparently that would be 100%.)
We stumbled out of bed and ran. I remember looking back as a flash of lightning illuminated our vertical blinds hitting our bedroom ceiling from the force of the wind coming through the open windows. I got to my daughter first (momma bear instinct kicking in), grabbed her and kept running, following my husband down the stairs. We ran into our deep pantry that went all the way under our stairs and huddled on the floor, praying to be passed over by the impending destruction.
All of that took about 2 minutes. And by the time we were in the pantry it was all over. Twin tornados had ripped through Dunwoody early that Thursday morning in 1998, splitting apart at the top of the hill and running parallel down the 2 streets that were on either side of our home. Our house was spared, most were not.
So that Friday before Easter in 1998 didn’t seem so good.
And the Friday Jesus was crucified surely didn’t seem to be good either. Torture. Suffering. Death, destruction and despair was all His friends and family could see and feel. They witnessed the darkest of days when all seemed to be lost.
“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last…But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him From Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.” (Luke 23:44-49)
We often watch or even experience destruction here on earth, not understanding why or even being able to fathom anything good will come out of a situation. Three days after Jesus was crucified those who knew and loved Him saw and understood and claimed victory over the most horrific day they had ever seen.
Through the power of Jesus, you can too.
Celebrate the victory of the cross.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
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