If only you were here. I’d greet you with a warm hug and three words:

He is risen.

Leif and I are still in pajamas. I’ll make you a latte or tea or pull that icy Coke out of the fridge for you.

You snuggle into our grey couch. We watch the sunrise. And chat about what these last 40 days have meant to us.

How they’ve…

taught us…

shaped us…

prepared us…

molded us….

Church and Easter dresses and sugar-filled kiddos will awake soon enough.

But for now, it’s just us.

I nudge Leif to talk about a gift renewed within him: Singing

Whenever Leif is happy (or a cop is behind us), he whistles.

I know, the cop thing is weird.

Humming and sings emanate out of Leif throughout the day.

Our life—with many moves, work travel, and every day demands—pushed his gifting to the back burner.

But this year he sang Handel’s Messiah as part of the Park City Community Choir.

This gift of singing reawakened in him. And we glimpsed God’s faithfulness and provision.

My most powerful lesson arrived in the form of 3 verbs.

I know, you’re shocked. God used words to speak to a wordsmith.

As we’ve read through the Gospel of John during Lent, this trio of verbs have haunted me.

John 18:12-13 says:

Then the Roman soldiers with their commanding officer and the Jewish guards arrested Jesus, tied him up, and took him first to Annas.” GNT

Arrested. Tied. Took.

Other translations use words like..

Seized. Bound. Led.

Why are those words so important?

These words parallel where we find ourselves after the resurrection.

Though some hotly debate the source and inclusion of John 21, I find great comfort in this scene where Jesus serves brunch.

Jesus pauses to reinstate Peter. Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?

In other words,

Do you still know me as the Beloved?

Do you still know you are my Beloved?

Do you still want to walk as my Beloved?

In a quick turn, Jesus goes prophetic on Peter.

“I am telling you the truth: when you were young, you used to get ready and go anywhere you wanted to go; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you up and take you where you don’t want to go.” –John 21:18

Do you see the parallels?

Jesus is…

Tied and taken.

Now Peter is

Tied and taken.

Why does this matter much to you and me?

Because after all the Easter dresses are rehung in the closet,

and the Easter and Resurrection eggs are tucked away,

and the lilies and fresh flowers lose their fragrance…

The command of Jesus to Peter and to you and me and Leif remains:

You follow me.

And in following…we shouldn’t be surprised when we are tied and taken to places we don’t want to go…

In our health..

In our finances…

In our moving…

In our relationships…

In our life plans…

But rest assured, that whatever the path…

Jesus was tied and taken first.

You are not alone in whatever you’re facing.

He is risen indeed.

Now it’s your turn…

What’s your most powerful discovery over the last 40 days?