This weekend marks the celebration of the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. We will be gathering to celebrate his perfect life, his death as the ultimate curse of God for sin, and his resurrection, the proclamation of the Father’s satisfaction with his Son’s sacrifice. We will join the millions of Christ-followers who see the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as the most central and important event in the history of the world.
This year as we celebrate Easter we will also be celebrating another important celebration in the life of the Blanco family, the 2nd anniversary of the life and death of our first-born son, Haddon Brooks Blanco. While Easter has always been important to us, through our son Haddon, God has given us a lens in which to view Easter. We are far more aware of the joy that the resurrections provides as an anchor of hope for all who are in Christ. We are growing and experiencing a new understanding of awaiting that one day when all who are in Christ will be raised to glory with the resurrected Christ.
Haddon has taught me that God’s love for his own son is far greater than my love for my own children. As a proud father, I have experienced what many other fathers have experienced when they transition into the role of fatherhood, an immense awakening of fatherly love. We are so proud of our kids the instant that we first see them. We almost immediately began searching for similarities to claim before anyone else can suggest otherwise. We find for the first time joy in being awakened and depended upon during the night (though certainly this applies much more thoroughly with our wives). We would do anything to show our kids how much we love them. This is a gift from God that our hearts are instantly tied to our children, as if we had been best friends for a countless number of years. That is exactly how I felt as I entered fatherhood when Haddon arrived two years ago. I loved him instantly. My bond to him formed quicker than any other bond God has ever given me, even quicker than the bond that first formed meeting his mother and my wife, Lisa.
God’s relationship with his Son is so profoundly deeper than my relationship with both of my sons. Whereas my bond with Haddon, and his younger brother Ernie has lasted as long as I have known them, God’s bond with his son has existed from the foundations of eternity. Prior to the coming of Jesus to earth, the Father and Son had never experienced any separation. Their bond was so profoundly rich because of their unique relationship that it is difficult for Christians today to even conceive of the love that exists between Father and Son.
The Lord has also taught me these past two years that the deeper the love one experiences with another, the deeper the hurt one feels when experiencing a separation from the relationship. This is why the separation of the Son and the Father on the cross is unparalleled in all of world history. Not only did God separate himself physically from his Son, but he also separated himself from any sense of goodwill, of love, and of affection for his beloved first-born. He so separated himself from his relationship with his Son on the cross, that Jesus literally became the curse and scorn of God by hanging on the cross at Calvary. And because that separation between Father and Son occurred, we were given over victory over the temporary separation that occurs when a child of God departs from this earth. I am reminded when my heart aches for the separation that I currently feel from Haddon, that God the Father is more than familiar with my pain. He has destroyed the sting of death through the loving sacrifice of Jesus. As Haddon's dad, its just a little easier to understand some of the grief God’s heart must have went through Christ was afflicted with the sins of the world.
Lastly, I am reminded that God is the magnificent victor over death and sin. Jesus did not stay dead in the grave, but as the Scriptures remind us Jesus conquered death and rose on the third day appearing to over 500 witnesses before ascending to the Father in glory. God’s stamp of approval of his Son’s death in the resurrection is the reason that there is hope to be found in a world marred by sin. This hope is spoken of in 1 Peter 1:7 which states, “In this you rejoice , though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The resurrection reminds me that each trial God has called me to and will call me to, are carefully designed for my good and for the everlasting glory of Jesus Christ. This Easter, which is also the same day as Haddon’s birthday, I will be rejoicing in my God who has victoriously conquered death and promised new life to all who put their faith and trust in him. The resurrected Christ indeed is our only hope for victory over death.
Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will ne not also with him graciously give us all things?”