This year we find ourselves in a sea of uncertainty as we approach Easter. We find ourselves separated and isolated from friends and family. Many have lost their jobs and are struggling to see how they will financially make it through these times. Some of our most vulnerable find themselves doing everything they can to physically stay well. Our first responders and healthcare workers are tasked with working long and hard hours amid this outbreak, a select few being the only support they have as they suffer their last days. The truth is, the plague that has come upon our globe isn’t just COVID-19 but also is FEAR, DOUBT, and WORRY. While the virus may not physically harm some or be life-threatening, we are all prone to fall ill to fear, worry, and doubt. However, the church from its conception has always had a source of light and encouragement during the darkest of hours and that is the joy and light of the resurrection!
This Easter, we as the church have the opportunity to unite together and refocus on where our hope comes from. Easter is the celebration of our risen and living Savior. The Lord Jesus Christ is the one who conquered sin and the grave. This season should be a reminder to the world that there is a God who is alive and active in our lives. Let us as pastors and teachers rally behind the truth of the resurrection, both in the Son of God and in the coming resurrection of the Church of God!
The Resurrection of Our King and the Coming of His Kingdom
Easter is not just a time to remember the price that was paid for our sins. I think it’s safe to say the first image that comes to our mind when we think of Easter is the cross and Christ as the suffering servant or at least his suffering. However, if it wasn’t for the empty tomb or the physical appearance of Jesus Christ, we would still be waiting for a Messiah to save us from the sting of death. I’m often reminded of the disciples who walked with the Lord on the road to Emmaus whose hearts were on fire following their discovery of the resurrection of Jesus and truly learning the truth of the scriptures leading up to His resurrection. Easter is a celebration and reminder that our Lord is a conquering king. Our Lord took our pain, shame, and death to the cross so that just as He died and rose, we too may taste death but also will rise. Easter is a time of remembrance to us His church that our God is alive! Nothing in this corrupted world could keep our king from accomplishing his task, and we should hold to the promise that just as our Lord rose, we too will rise and be united in His Kingdom! It’s this promise that was most commonly preached by the disciples in the book of Acts. This promise is what the martyrs of the faith embraced too during their hour of suffering. Moreover, we must all rally to the truth that just as our Lord was resurrected, we too will experience a resurrection to a new and glorified body. A glorified body that no longer has the weakness of Adam but truly reflects the image and light of king and God!
A Wise Word from Luther
“Your faith rest alone on the Lord Jesus Christ…He is the resurrection of life. You shall lack nothing. You will not die but will fall asleep like an infant in a cradle, and when morning draws, you will rise again and live forever.”Martin Luther and Theodore G. Tappert, Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel (Vancouver: Regent College Pub., 2003), 45-46.
I pray that this Easter we as the church can stand united and remind the world during this dark hour the, truth and light of the gospel! For us, as the church has no reason to let fear, worry, or doubt keep us from doing the work of the kingdom for we have faith and hope in the resurrection of Christ and his Church. Let us truly reflect your light, oh Lord! Let us not find despair in our physical separation but stand united in Christ! Let us dwell closer to you God!
Jim DiLavore is the Research Assistant and Coordinator for the Center for Text Driven Preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
|↑1||Martin Luther and Theodore G. Tappert, Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel (Vancouver: Regent College Pub., 2003), 45-46.|