Why the Message of Easter is More Necessary Today than Ever Before?
This year as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we recognize the fact that we are living in an unprecedented time in history. We in India, are under a national lock-down, along with several other nations facing a similar situation. This pandemic has globally affected more than 1.6 million people. It is reported that there are more than 95000 deaths worldwide. At present it shows no signs of being contained in the near future. There is a sense of gloom, helplessness and hopelessness in the world. Leaders from around the world are grappling with how to halt this pandemic, and wondering how to deal with the aftermath. Most of us have not witnessed something like this in our lifetime!
Do Not Be Afraid
In such a time of despair, the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to John the beloved, on the island of Patmos brings a message of hope. “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.” (Revelation 1:17, 18 – NIV). The message of the risen Lord to the apostle John is what the world needs to hear at this time.
We know death was not part of the original intent of God. Human kind was created to live forever. Death came into the world as a result of human sin and rebellion. Consequently, death became an enemy to humankind. When the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, the last enemy death was defeated (1 Corinthians 15:26). Some people say, “no one knows what happens after death,” after all “who knows what lies on the other side!” Easter reminds us that we serve and worship a risen Savior, who crossed over from death to life and lives forever more.
Until we stare death eye-to-eye, Easter is just a sweet word. Easter is a holiday celebrated with family and friends – special meals, chocolates, and Easter eggs. However, when we face situations that threaten to snuff out our very existence, Easter becomes everything. Resurrection becomes an anchor in a fierce storm, a rock on which to stand. Easter is hope that raises us above despair and gives us fortitude to carry on. The words of our Lord, “….because I live, you also will live!” (John 14:19 – NIV) is now understood in a fresh and personal way!
Resurrection: The Bedrock Of The Christian Faith
The bedrock of the Christian Faith is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15:12-16, If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain, our faith is in vain, we are still in our sins, those who are dead in Christ have perished and we are of all men most miserable, because we have hope in this life alone. The resurrection of Christ gives us a sure and certain foundation to build our lives on. The life of our Lord Jesus Christ is bracketed by two impossibilities: A Virgin’s Womb and an Empty Tomb! The Lord Jesus Christ entered our world through a door marked, “No Entrance” and left through a door marked, “No Exit”!
As we celebrate Easter in the midst of this pandemic, May God use each one of us to impart hope to people around us who are paralyzed by fear and plagued by uncertainty. May the risen Lord empower us to proclaim what Bill Gaither penned so eloquently, “Because He lives, we can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone, Because we know, He holds our future, Life is worth the living, just because He lives!”
Rev. Samuel T. KoshyFaculty SABC/CGLD
April 10, 2020