Chris Tiegreen

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Chris Tiegreen

Chris Tiegreen

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Easter Devotional

Darkness, Silence, and a Breath

Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching. (Matthew 27:57-61)

In the beginning, after God created the earth, it was formless and empty. Darkness covered the deep, and the Spirit of God—literally, his breath or his wind—hovered over the surface. The world was lifeless, and the Spirit/breath/wind brooded, waiting for the word to be given. God shaped the dust of the ground into human form. He breathed his life into the form—“inspirited” it—and a new kind of creature reflected his image. As we know, humanity rebelled, distorting the image and forfeiting the fullness of life. But the breath remained, waiting for the Spirit to hover and brood again. One day, after eons of creation groaning for its redemption, he would.

The earth may not have been formless and empty that Saturday after the cross, but it might as well have been. Darkness covered the hearts of those who had hoped. Life lay dead in a tomb. The Spirit may have hovered over the surface of broken hearts, but the word had not yet been given to enter in. God was preparing the earthen vessels of his image to receive his breath again. One genesis had set this world in motion; the regenesis would restore what was lost and fulfill what had always been planned.

No one knew that yet on that Passover Sabbath. God was awfully, achingly silent that Saturday. Like the surface of the deep so many ages before, the world seemed lifeless. But only a few days later, just as God came face to face with the first earthen form of a man, a risen Messiah would stand face to face with his followers and breathe his Spirit into them (John 20:22). The long-awaited moment of regenesis finally came. The Spirit/breath/wind blows where it wishes (John 3:8), and it wished to enter into human flesh anew because the Resurrection had secured a new kind of life. In a very real sense, humanity was reborn. So was its hope. 

This is where we now live—in a second genesis, a climate of hope where the breath of God is freely imparted to earthen vessels of faith. The things we have mourned are passing away. Yes, the dust returns to dust, but the spirit returns to Spirit. The temporal submits to the eternal. Darkness gives way to light. Death gives way to life. And the creativity of God is flourishing again in the recreated citizens of his Kingdom.

Excerpted from The Promise of Lent Devotional, © 2017 by Chris Tiegreen, Tyndale House Publishers.

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