Then Came the Morning – Happy Easter

By Gloria and Bill Gaither

They all walked away, with nothing to say,
They’d just lost their dearest friend.
All that He said, now He was dead,
So this was the way it would end.
The dreams they had dreamed were not what they’d seemed,
Now that He was dead and gone.
The garden, the jail, the hammer, the nail,
How could a night be so long.

Then came the morning, night turned into day;
The stone was rolled away, hope rose with the dawn.
Then came the morning, shadows vanished before the sun,
Death had lost and life had won, for morning had come.

The angel, the star, the kings from afar,
The wedding, the water, the wine.
Now it was done, they’d taken her son,
Wasted before his time.
She knew it was true, she’d watched him die too,
She’d heard them call Him just a man,
But deep in her heart, she knew from the start,
Somehow her Son would live again.

Then came the morning, night turned into day;
The stone was rolled away, hope rose with the dawn.
Then came the morning, shadows vanished before the sun,
Death had lost and life had won, for morning had come.

Then came the morning, shadows vanished before the sun,
Death had lost and life had won, for morning had come.

Morning had come.

One of the most triumphant songs of Esther Sunday morning when the Lord rose from the dead. Thank God for working through Bill and Gloria Gaither, we have such a lovely hymn to muse upon.

Our celebration of Easter begins with an empty room…well, empty except for some discarded strips of linen. He is risen. He is no longer dead.

The women who discovered the empty tomb must have thought they were dreaming. I imagine them closing their eyes and reopening them, to see if they were really seeing the sight before them.

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ 8 Then they remembered his words.” (Luke 24:1-8)

And of course, we remember the empty cross as well…the cross that held our Saviour, as He took the unimaginable burden of all of our sins — past, present and future — upon Himself.  His friends and family standing helplessly by, unable to do anything but watch their beloved Jesus suffer and die.

But just a few days later, as the song says, “then came the morning.”  The emptiness of the cross and tomb spoke — no, shouted! — that Jesus was indeed the Messiah…that He fulfilled everything He foretold.  He conquered sin and death for us, out of His unfathomable love.  Hallelujah!

We hope you will all have a joyous Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, and be reminded that this living Saviour we serve loves you very much. He rejoices over you, even as you celebrate Him in your heart. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

A few more comments about Easter

Imagine for a moment that the long hard winter was never to end – for those friends who live in miserable winter seasons. We are blessed to have almost summer all year round in our part of the world. What we call winter our colleagues call summer. But just imagine that we woke up one morning and the scientists informed us that the earth had twisted on its axis, and we would never see spring or summer again. Just think of a perpetual snow and cold.

This is what the apostle Paul tells us that life would be like if Jesus Christ had not been raised from the dead on Easter Sunday. Always winter and never spring. Always dying and nothing beyond! “If Christ has not been raised,” says Paul, “our faith becomes futile.” (V. 14) Hope becomes hopeless. We are stuck in the winter. Always surrounded by death and dying. Pitiful people! Winter people! Hopeless people.

That is what it was like for those disciples on Friday and Saturday. That is what it was like for Mary, after the body of her Lord was laid in the tomb. That’s how it was for Peter, James, John. Pitiful people! Winter people! Hopeless people! And then came Easter morning. And Jesus came back to them. He was God’s gift to them. Something that was precious and was lost and is now found. Someone they had loved was restored. And the winter is over. The time for singing has come! The time for victory is here!

Easter means victory. It means Christ’s victory, but it means more than that. It means victory for each one of us today. He was vindicated on that day, but we too are vindicated. That is the nature of all great victories. They mean something for the individual victor, but it is inevitably a shared victory.

That is the most wonderful thing about this Easter morning. This resurrection Sunday. This Victory day. We have been vindicated with him. It is our victory too!

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