“Faith is going to walk on Monday,” Noah said, brimming with the confidence that only a big brother could possess for his little sister, “I just know it…”
Never have I so appreciated the gift of the resurrection as I do this Easter. Though the incident at the Garden Tomb happened over 2000 years ago, I feel as if I am watching the drama of that Sunday morning play out before me in the lives of some precious friends.
Earlier this week, a family very dear to my heart tragically lost their five year-old daughter, Faith. Though her death is devastating, and her absence will leave a permanent ache in the hearts of her family, the power of the cross is evident in their absolute confidence that Faith’s passing did not mark the end of her life, but its beginning in its truest form.
Just as the grieving women at the tomb were overcome with the joy of seeing their Master alive and walking and talking, Faith’s family is buoyed by the hope that their daughter has at last been fully and finally healed by Jesus.
Sweet Faith was born with a medical condition that left her unable to see or walk. When her biological parents decided to give her up, the Spiker family stepped in to call her their own. Swaddled in the cocoon of the Spiker’s love, Faith flourished and grew and soon became famous for her sweet cuddles, her love for birthdays and icing, her frilly tutus, and her passion for music.
Today, on this Good Friday, those who love her have gathered to remember and to celebrate the little girl who has just begun to discover what life is all about.
Because of what Christ accomplished on that Friday over two millennia ago, last week did not mark Faith’s final Friday…
Today is Faith’s FIRST Friday to walk and dance and run on perfect legs!
Today is Faith’s FIRST Friday to experience color at its fullest, light at its brightest, and the full splendor of God’s glory, up close and personal, with perfect vision.
Today isn’t Faith’s worst Friday…
Today is Faith’s BEST Friday!
This is true not just for Faith, but for anyone who possesses faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith’s story proves that-
THE RESURRECTION GIVES US THE POWER TO LOVE COURAGEOUSLY.
It takes great bravery to love something which possesses such a great capacity to break your heart.
This is the fearless brand of love that the Spikers demonstrated for Faith, and the same sort of love that our Christ demonstrated for us on that ancient Friday.
“But God demonstrated His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (1)
Christ went to the cross knowing that He would shed His blood for billions of people who would ultimately reject Him. He died fully aware that even those who would accept His gift would continuously chase after other lovers. He died knowing that I would break His heart over and over again….
but the empty tomb proves that we were worth the risk.
Faith was worth the risk, both for the Spikers, and for the Son of God, who now get to spend eternity laughing and walking and looking into the eyes of their beloved daughter. In the light of the cross, broken-heartedness is never a permanent condition.
Every shattered heart can be restored.
The cross proves that every life is worth loving because every life is worth the life of the Son of God.
As a new parent, I cannot imagine the sort of agony that the Father endured watching His Son be brutalized for the sons of men. Even now as I cuddle my newborn son, take in his sweet scent, and his gentle, rhythmic breaths…I am struck by what a terrifying thing it is to desperately love something which is wrapped in such fragile packaging.
Yet our Abba God was willing to clothe His Almighty, eternal Son, in flimsy, mortal flesh for the chance to clothe us in immortality.
Because our King was garbed in what was “perishable,” Faith is now garbed in what is “imperishable.” Because our King was “sown in weakness,” Faith is now “raised in power.”(2)
Anyone who possesses faith is privy to this same promise.
I cannot imagine bringing a child into a world where Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead.
But that isn’t the world I live in.
I live in a world where the tomb of God is empty and little girls who couldn’t see and couldn’t walk, are now running and looking straight into the eyes of their Maker.
Isn’t it crazy to think that the first thing Faith ever saw was the face of Jesus?
Last weekend, Faith’s 9 year-old brother Noah told his mother and another family member that he was sure Faith was going to learn how to walk on Monday. No one quite knew where this revelation came from, but he seemed very certain about it. At the time, they merely shook their heads and smiled, but in retrospect, they now wonder if God hadn’t given him a glimpse of what was to come. Though she didn’t pass away until Tuesday morning,…Faith most certainly learned to walk this week.
What a glorious Friday indeed.