Their little ‘faces’ draw me to take a closer look. The bright variety of colors and their gentle beauty awakens newness of life to me. Their ‘smiles’ hint at the joyful promise of spring.

These pansies will grace the patio for the next few months until the heat of summer is too much for them. However, I can look forward to a new crop in the fall.

Brighter than any pansy was the joy and promise of the Messiah. Through winter seasons into spring, summer and fall, people of Bible times held to the promise that Messiah … the anointed One of God … would come.

Not everyone recognized him. And many just wanted him to rescue them from Roman rule.

But his rescue was of a different nature. He had come to deliver them from sin and death.

They rejoiced as he rode a donkey into Jerusalem throwing their garments and palm fronds on the ground before him. They worshipped him with Hosannas and blessings.

Yet, a few days later, many cried “Crucify him! Crucify him!

How fickle their allegiance. How ungenuine their faith.

And, so, Jesus was crucified.

Not because of the crowd. But because this was the reason he had come. To die in their place and ours so that by grace when we receive him and his finished work on the cross, we will live with him eternally.

Comprehension didn’t dawn for his followers immediately. At the time, sorrow clouded their vision. Their best friend and Lord had died. All hope seemed lost.

Until …

Early on Sunday morning, some of the faithful women went to the tomb to anoint his body with spices. However, an angel of the Lord greeted them, rolled the stone aside, and sat on it as Mathew 28: 5 and 6 NLT records.

“Don’t be afraid,” the angel said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.”

And when we believe and receive him, his promises hold true.

We may go through seasons like the pansies when we bloom brightly. While at other times, we may feel oppressed by troubles much like the summer’s hovering heat. But hold on. Nurture your faith. You will bloom again. And he promises to come again.

As he said to the disciples (verse 20b) then and to us now, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

“Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20b)