Text Illustrations
I recently read an article that told this story, “The most sacred symbol in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a tree: a sprawling, shade-bearing, 80-year-old American Elm. Tourists drive from miles around to see her. People pose for pictures beneath her. Arborists carefully protect her. She adorns posters and letterheads. Other trees grow larger, fuller — even greener. But not one is equally cherished. The city treasures the tree not because of her appearance, but her endurance. She endured the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh parked his death-laden truck only yards from her. His malice killed 168 people, wounded 850, destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, and buried the tree in rubble. No one expected it to survive. No one, in fact, gave any thought to the dusty, branch-stripped tree. But then she began to bud. Sprouts pressed through damaged bark; green leaves pushed away gray soot. Life resurrected from an acre of death. People noticed. The tree modeled the resilience the victims desired. So they gave the elm a name: the Survivor Tree.”

Maybe your life is buried under the rubble of some disaster in your life. Jesus’ life was too. His crucifixion looked like a miserable end to a good life. But he rose from the rubble, brimming with life. Because he lives, you too will live. Because he rose, you too will rise.