‘The cross is the victory; the resurrection is the triumph. The resurrection is the public display of the victory, the triumph of the crucified one.’ – Leon Morris
Easter is the most important celebration for Christians and an event we look forward to each year. It is a time of remembrance and rejoicing at the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
As we are all aware, things are different this year. It is an Easter like we have never experienced before. Life can be overwhelming at the minute and everyone’s ‘normal’ has been changed for the foreseeable future. The news is one negative headline after another and it is sometimes hard to escape the noise of this global health crisis which surrounds us. As we sit in our homes this Easter waiting for Covid-19 to pass we are not entirely sure what is going to happen. When will this suffering end?
We are in the waiting and what now…?
Now look at him who is unchanging
Time after time in the Bible we are told that our Lord is our rock;
- Psalm 91:4 ‘He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.’
- Psalm 46:1 ‘God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.’
- 1 Samuel 2:2 ‘There is no one holy like the Lord. Indeed, there is no one beside you, nor is there any rock like our God’.
In times of uncertainty, in times of fear and in times of worry there is no one better to which we can lean on. Whatever we are feeling at present, that emotion has been covered in the Bible and has been brought to God. Whether it is fear, anxiety or loneliness God has heard it all. Just like so many characters in the Bible we must bring our emotions to God, our thoughts and our time. We must turn and look to him. He is our creator and our guide in times of distress.
Our God fights our battles.
Now look to the light of the world
Let us now, turn our attention to Easter. We have often heard and read verses such as Isaiah 53:5 ‘Because of his wounds we have been healed’ or perhaps most famously John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. The sacrifice of Jesus is ultimate, and we should not let this Easter pass us by. We should not become numb to the most joyous reality as shown in the above scriptures – Jesus died for our sins! Not just for a select few but for everyone.
If we solely focus on our current situation, we will miss the greatest love and sacrifice that there has ever been. Jesus doesn’t want us to ignore the message of our salvation. He wants to open our eyes and our hearts to see clearly that during worry, pain and stress that we should turn to him, the one who we can trust, depend on and look to in such challenging times.
Easter = Hope
The Easter story is one of love, sacrifice and HOPE. It is the victorious story of our God who rose again and destroyed death and sin. As Jesus said on the cross in John 19:30 ‘It is finished’. He conquered death and sin for us and for each person in this world because of his great love.
In the darkness we can look to the cross and know that hope and light will conquer – It is finished.
Jesus gave us a clean slate – a new living hope.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone, the new is here’.
- 1 Peter 1:3 ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’.
This Easter let us push into this new living hope which Jesus has given us, like never before. Let us acknowledge that our God is greater, our God is more powerful, and our God is more in control than we can ever know.
To live a life a of hope in salvation for Jesus is to see him for who he is – the conqueror of sin.
The Easter story is one of the greatest stories spread across the world. This Easter let us spread it more by going deeper than we have ever before in our faith with Jesus. Let us spread HOPE rather than darkness and show that there is light at the end of this struggle and that we can and will overcome.
In Matthew 22: 36-40, Jesus teaches us the importance of two commandments. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
During Covid-19 we have seen a return to loving our neighbour, to helping those who are vulnerable and in need by countless selfless volunteers and staff of many businesses. Genuine acts of love and compassion are being shown in our neighbourhoods, in our country and across the world. This is an amazing sign of hope which we must be thankful for this Easter.
At New Beginnings as we focus on the hope and life of Easter let us take a moment to thank Jesus for the blessings we have in our life and to thank him for the outpouring of love which has taken place across the world and through our communities.
We pray for our amazing and selfless NHS and key workers keeping our loved ones safe and those workers keeping our country functioning.
Let us pray for Uganda and the children. Uganda too is currently in lockdown but as a country with little medical facilities and resources let us lift our prayers to our Father that he curbs any outbreak in Uganda and that he will keep the children, staff and village safe.
Further Prayer Points
- Safety of children and staff
- The children living with HIV and Aids to continue to grow and be nurtured
- Health of all children, especially those recovering from sickness
- For rain to provide a plentiful harvest of food