And Then You Laugh
by Julie Ackerman
Noise. Vibration. Pressure. Fireball. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield used these words to describe being launched into space. As the rocket raced toward the International Space Station, the weight of gravity increased and breathing became difficult. Just when he thought he would pass out, the rocket made a fiery breakthrough into weightlessness. Instead of lapsing into unconsciousness, he broke into laughter.
His description made me think of the days leading to my mother's death. The heaviness of life kept increasing until she no longer had the strength to breathe. She was then released from her pain and broke free into the "weightlessness" of heaven. I like to think of her laughing when she took her first breath in Jesus' presence.
On the Friday we call "good," something similar happened to Jesus. God placed on Him the weight of the entire world's sin - past, present, and future - until He could no longer breathe. Then He said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." After being suffocated by our sin, Jesus received back from God the life entrusted to Him and now lives where sin and death have no power. All who trust Christ will one day join Him, and I wonder if we'll look back at this life and laugh.
Father in heaven, words cannot describe our gratitude for Your Son Jesus, who bore the weight of our sins. Thank you that to be absent from this body with its heavy burdens is to be present with You forever.