Editor's note: "The Spoken Word" is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly <a href="https://mormontabernaclechoir.org/" target="blank">Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast._
If the message of Easter were reduced to just one word, that word might be hope. Easter declares, as almost nothing else can, that even in the most desperate situations there is hope. The worst storms eventually subside. The deepest emptiness can be filled. The darkest night soon gives way to the light of dawn.
Not long ago, a man was battling years of homelessness, drug abuse and despair. Hope seemed out of reach. But then a series of events — he would call it divine intervention — put him on the road to recovery and literally saved his life. He came to know that he had, in his words, a "place in the grand scheme of things." Now he works to help the homeless and the addicted, the very people among whom he once lived. "I still have my issues," he says, "but I try … to find the next right thing and do it." The lesson he learned is relevant for every one of us: "There's hope … no matter what, there's hope" (see "How a one-time Utah con man was born again in all the right ways," by Lee Benson, Deseret News, Feb. 11, 2018).
That is the message of Easter. Can a broken life be mended? Yes. Can a relationship be healed? Yes. In the words of Job of old, "If a man die, shall he live again?" (see Job 14:14). Easter boldly answers, "Yes!" Even death itself gives way to hope. When death steals a loved one away, when we feel anguish of soul, when all seems hopeless, we can remember the one who declared, "I am the resurrection, and the life" (see John 11:25).
Some two thousand years ago, on that first Easter morning, "it was yet dark" when Mary went to the garden tomb (see John 20:1). Soon the sun would rise, as it always does. And soon the Light of the World would appear to illuminate her soul, as he always does. But first, Mary had to take a few steps in the darkness.
What she found was a miracle, an empty tomb — and the greatest promise ever proclaimed: "He is not here: for he is risen" (see Matthew 28:6). Mary came looking for her Lord and found hope. Because of Him, there's hope—no matter what, there's always hope.