Easter Sunday Letter
As Easter Sunday approaches we are reminded of the world-changing event that took place on that first Easter morning some 2000 years ago. Jesus was raised from the dead. This reversal on the grip of death manifested in the resurrection of Jesus opened the door of hope for all humanity and especially to those who put their trust in Jesus Christ. This glorious hope is captured so well by the Apostle Paul who wrote: But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man (1Corinthians 15:20-12, NIV). Faith in Jesus Christ brings this hope of resurrection to every individual.
But besides this central message of hope as the result of the resurrection of Jesus, there are some more immediate benefits. The resurrection obviously happened only after Jesus had died. Very often our triumphalist culture refuses to acknowledge that Easter Sunday only happened because there was a Good Friday as well. The Good Friday experience was painful, scary, and yet central if Easter would ever come. Today there are many reasons we can be afraid and scared. The forces of nature, whether it is drought as there is in California, or earthquakes, blistery winters, or mudslides– all of these forces of nature remind us how fragile life is on earth. Added to these dangers are those of war, street violence, and illnesses. There are more sources of fear than those of comfort it seems at times. But one solid source of comfort is found in the One who had experienced it all. In the book of Revelation Jesus reveals himself to John, the prisoner in Patmos. In chapter 1 of Revelation verses 17 and 18, as Jesus came to where John had fallen down, He said to him, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades…”
My dear friends, Good Friday came before Easter Sunday. Jesus said, I was dead, but now look, I am alive for ever and ever! It could be that today you are having a Good Friday experience in your life. But to you Jesus also says, “Do not be afraid”. If there is something Jesus had in common with us is that he shared our human nature. In that human nature he experienced death, just as we will someday. But again, we should not be afraid of death because Jesus was raised from the dead. He has shown us that resurrection is in store for us also.
As we approach Easter Sunday we are reminded not only of our mortality, but we are also reminded of the great hope Jesus’ resurrection gives us.
May I invite you to come and celebrate Easter Sunday on April 20th with us? We will rejoice before the presence of God for raising Jesus from the tomb. We will glorify God for the blessed hope we have in the future. But we will give the Lord thanks because He gives us confidence to live today without fear.
Celebrate Easter with fullness of joy, for Christ is alive for ever more. Amen!
In The Name of the Resurrected One,