At our house, I’m usually the one who lays the babies down for their naps, if I’m around and able to help. I don’t mind — in fact, I enjoy this duty of fatherhood. Plus, it allows me to catch a little shuteye myself. I’m one who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. My technique for rocking the baby down (currently little Joey, who’s not quite a baby anymore), is to pace, then sit in the chair and rock. Then I doze off. He dozes off, I wake up, and lay him down, then go about my day, refreshed.
I must have been quite tired today — it is Easter, after all, with all the attendant hullabaloo, to say nothing of Lent which came before it — so when I dozed off this morning as I was rocking Joey, I dreamed. When I awoke, I had just one brief snippet of dream that I remembered.
I was standing in a room with the apostles when the women came back from Jesus’ tomb, and I heard them say, “He’s risen!” Then I awoke.
Now, it’s true what St. Basil the Great says, that “are not our dreams merely a reflection of our waking thoughts?” With celebrating Easter today, and preparing my Easter sermon this week, it’s natural that it would be on my mind.
And yet. I awoke, remembered the dream, then thought immediately, “But it’s not only a dream.”
It is most certainly not only a dream. His tomb stands empty — come and see! See where they laid Him, and now He is not here! Why look for the dead among the living? Behold, He is the Living One, forever and ever!
Like it or not, skeptic, saint, or somewhere in between — that tomb is empty. And it will remain empty to all eternity, because He will never more die! This is no dream. This is reality! God’s Son, with His real flesh and blood, today arose from the tomb — no longer cold, stiff, and bloody, but alive. And so will we live! One day yet to come, He who has destroyed death will call to us, and all who are in their graves will hear the voice of the Son of Man — and come out. That’s you! That’s me! Then heaven awaits for all those who trust in Christ, who put their faith in His imperishable resurrection from the dead.
How my heart yearns within me! This is no dream — it’s real, as real as real gets! Realer than death, because death one day will die. As real as God Himself, who exerted His mighty power when He raised Christ from the dead, and seated Him in the heavenly realms, and us with Him.
Jesus — my Jesus, and yours — lives. This is no dream. A blessed Easter to you, my Christian friends.