I spent the weekend up in my Northwoods with a merry bunch of travelers.

Yes, our theme song was the infamous David Bowie track. Yes, we ate fish fry, walked in the woods, and stepped out onto the frozen lake near the house. Yes, we celebrated the merciful, amazing miracle of our Lord Jesus Messiah’s resurrection.

Death, where’s the sting now when the designer of all history and sustainer of the universe himself defeated you?

Returning back to campus for the final six weeks is going to be a long run, but reflecting on what Jesus did out of love for us is fuel and joy and motivation that yes, sin is conquered and can be overcome; yes, there is hope; and yes, there is victory.

My favorite account of his resurrection is in the book of John because of what happens to Mary Magdalene. She was redeemed at the Lord’s hand from tortuous demons and faithfully followed him as Teacher. She loved him, and when she went to the tomb on that Sunday, it was empty. The disciples had run back to the others after she brought them in an attempt to figure out what happened. She was weeping, in utter despair, confused, alone, probably in shock.

Mary saw the gardener standing there, and through her tears, said, “…they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him” (John 20:13).

Jesus revealed himself to her. He said her name and called her.

She suddenly saw. He had risen.

How do we respond to┬áthe resurrection? Like Mary, I hope that it’s with wonder, awe, and inexplicable joy for what the Lord has done. He has called us by name to himself, to see what he has done, and to attempt to futilely grasp his deep love for us.

The joy of celebrating in community what the Lord did all those years ago is a highlight of my year. God is indescribable, and he has shown us all his love through his resurrection. Since death is defeated, we don’t have to fear, and hope is real.

2 Corinthians 1:20. Because of Christ, every promise can be answered, “Yes!”