Crucifixion guard, Matthew 27: 45-54

I cannot imagine a job more terrible than brutally hurting people, day in and day out. To hear the constant screams of the people you are torturing, to see them contort in pain and agony, to have them beg you to stop. I know I could not take it – I would literally go insane. These soldiers must have turned off every ounce of emotional compassion within them to do this job, and once you turn it off, how can you ever turn it back on?

Like this soldier, we may feel like we have turned off or shut down parts of ourselves to deal with circumstances in our life. Scars from old hurts and betrayals can cause us to shut down or emotionally withdraw to protect ourselves. We may not even want to turn these parts back on because we are afraid it would hurt too much. Some parts within us may have been shut down for so long that they couldn’t be resurrected, even if we wanted them to. Unfortunately, these are usually the good parts of our personality – the hope, faith, love, and charity. God wants better for us. If the Spirit of God can get through to a jaded Roman soldier who tortures people for a living than it can definitely get through to us. New life is possible in any area of our life, even those areas that have long been closed for emotional repairs, or boxed up and hidden away.

Where have we given up — on feeling loved, gaining acceptance, having hope that the future will be difference from the mess it is today? Where have we resigned ourselves to believe that change is not possible, that our future is always going to look just like our bleak and boring past? With Easter, God conquers all types of deaths – not just physical death but the death of our hope and dreams as well. There is nothing and no part of each of us that cannot be resurrected to new life.

Where would we like to see new life within us? Come Sunday morning, anything is possible.