Once upon a time in a concentration camp there lived a prisoner who, even though he was under sentence of execution, was fearless and free. One day he was seen in the middle of the prison square playing his guitar. A large crowd gathered to listen, for under the spell of his music, they became as fearless as he. When the prison authorities saw this, they forbade the man to play.
But the next day there he was again, singing and playing on his guitar with a larger crowd around him. The guards angrily dragged him away and had his fingers chopped off.
Next day he was back again, singing and making what music he could with his bleeding fingers. This time the crowds were cheering. The guards dragged him away again and smashed his guitar.
The following day he was singing with all his heart. What a song! So pure and uplifting! The crowd joined in, and while the singing lasted, their hearts became as pure as his and their spirits were invincible. So angry were the guards this time that they had his tongue torn out. A hush descended on the camp, a something that was deathless.
To the astonishment of everyone, he was back in his place the next day swaying and dancing to a silent music that no one but he could hear. And soon everyone was holding hands and dancing around this bleeding, broken figure in the center while the guards stood rooted to the ground in wonder.
Two thousand years ago, thinking to silence hope, the devil looked at the Singer of life and love said, “Destroy this One, and we destroy any hope that humanity ever thought of having!” And he did his best. Satan used one of Jesus’ friends to betray Him. The mob took Him. They spit on Him; pulled out His beard, beat Him until He was almost dead. Then forced Him to carry his cross up a rugged hill, and there, they crucified Him.
“That should do it!” Satan beamed. And for a while, it looked like it would work. The disciple’s world caved in. They locked themselves into a room for fear of the Jews. It was as if a hush descended on the camp, a something that was deathless.
All seemed bleak. Hopeless. Dark. But then someone found the crack in the concrete. A small hole with a single blade of grass hope. “Hey, I wonder if it’s really true?” “What’s that?” “Well, you know, what He said about the third day.”
It seemed hopeless to all, but to the astonishment of everyone, on the third day, Jesus was back in His spot once again singing hope.