January 9, 2023
Written by Katy Ward & Kyle Upson
What could be a better way to celebrate our Risen Christ than to watch His sun rise to begin your Easter day? We believe this Sunrise Hike will help to start your day off in the right mindset, setting your mind on God and His creation.
Cole Mountain is about an hour from campus and with it’s short, relatively easy climb and beautiful scenery it is one of the more popular hikes in the Liberty community, but around holidays, the crowds are not as frequent, making this hike a peaceful one to enjoy by yourself or a few close friends.
At only a 2-mile loop, this hike is an easy one to do first thing in the day and still have plenty of time for anything else you have planned. Follow this itinerary for a step-by-step timeline:
Last Friday was Good Friday, where we mourn the suffering of our Savior. Jesus was spit upon, beaten, scourged, mocked, and forced to carry the very cross that He would be nailed to. How can this be? The God-Man, prophesied Messiah, hanging from a tree, lifeless. This was the price that was needed to pay for the sins of the world. A perfect man who never sinned and was at the same time the very God who created the universe died a painful death in our place. Does the story just end there? Of course not!
It seemed to the disciples that all was lost, their Messiah just died and was buried in a tomb. It was on the first day of the week around two thousand years ago when Jesus rose from the grave. Though triumphant over death, he did not rise boisterously but rather humbly, as does the sun this morning. The sun isn’t yelling at the world, saying, “look at me!” Jesus appeared to a select few, who would be commanded by Him to take the message of His resurrection to all people and ethnic groups (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη; v. 28:19). Jesus said in John 8:12 that He is the light of the world, and as the sunrays break over the ridgelines and into the dark valley so does the name of Jesus go forth and light the darkest of places. Let us, who follow the Lord, be available to be used by Him from the mountaintops to the valleys below, to every tribe, nation, and tongue. Not many churches today teach disciple making when it is commanded in Scripture. Christ died a brutal death for you. You were bought with a price (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:20), so go and declare Christ to those who do not know Him. Tell your next-door neighbors, the old lady in the grocery store, your waiter/waitress, every conversation we have is an opportunity to declare the gospel. The Sun of righteousness has risen and there is healing in His wings made available to those who accept and follow Him (Malachi 4:2)!
In the meantime, we look forward to the day where there will be no more sunrises or sunsets. We, in hopeful anticipation, look forward to the New Jerusalem which “has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev. 21:23). This is not a hope that is questionable if it will actually happen as understood in modern English definitions. This is a hope that is certain for Christ has promised this dwelling place and He is always faithful in His promises.
This trip does not require much, but here is a list that you may find helpful when preparing:
Always remember to check the weather before you head out so you can dress appropriately for the trip you are about to take. While it will be April, there is still a chance of cold weather and possibly even snow.
We hope that if you take this trip that it is beneficial and helps to set up your Easter day beautifully. If you take part in this, we would love to hear about it or see any pictures you may have! Happy hiking and Happy Easter!