GRACE BE UNTO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND FROM OUR LORD AND SAVIOR – JESUS THE CHRIST.
It has been 51 Easters that we have celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection at sunrise on the lakeshore, breakfasted together at the church and celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection again at the church. Then came the coronavirus and everything changed. Our lives were very much in the control of a powerful pandemic. Even our most powerful communal worship experience was largely relegated to the privacy of our own homes.
But the message of this wonderful day is as powerful as ever - Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and because He Who gave His very life for us on the cross has risen indeed we too with our loved will spend all eternity victoriously with Him
How truly we need to hear how God’s Own Son came into His Creation – our world. God Himself came among us as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ – showed us nothing but love and loyalty – cared and ministered to everyone even those who rejected Him – truly showed and shared His love in all He did and said.
Then everyone – even those closest to Him thought all was lost for Jesus Christ humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on the cross. His followers though they had lost everything.
Then on His 3rd day in the airtight tomb, Jesus arose – not merely to proclaim His Victory – but to proclaim ours as well. Jesus had conquered temptation, sin, death and all that comes with it and returned from the dead to proclaim the gift.
Death is that unavoidable enemy we all must face – with or without a pandemic seemingly beyond human control. Good Friday is that day Jesus suffered and died for us on the cross and there He conquered all our ultimate enemies for us. Good Friday is the most important day in human history because it was the day Jesus gave His Life on the cross to conquer sin, guilt, death, pandemics and the devil for us – the day He was placed in an air-tight tomb.
Easter – the day of Jesus’ Resurrection – is the day Jesus rose from the dead to explain what Good Friday was all about.
John and the woman had seen Jesus slain on the cross and, with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, had laid Him in the air-tight tomb. Then they and all the disciples hid and mourned through the worst Sabbath of their lives. At sunrise on Sunday morning – while the disciples were still hiding – the women went to the tomb to complete the burial arrangements. Our Savior had been slain and with Him most of their hopes. Neither they nor the disciples understood the meaning of the battle Jesus waged on the cross that past Friday.
Then Jesus came back to explain. The Christ rose from the dead to proclaim His Victory for us. The sting of death is sin. On Good Friday Jesus suffered and died for our sins. Christ waged the battle for our souls and for our eternal lives. On Easter, Jesus proclaimed His Victory in that battle.
As God proclaimed through St. Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin, And the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory, Through our Lord Jesus Christ.
On Easter Jesus arose to proclaim the Victory and restore our eternal lives and relationship with God.
In our world – in our lives – our own human nature causes us often to struggle as if Good Friday never came. Jesus won the Good Friday battle totally with nothing left to accomplish or add. With our Easter message for our Good Friday world, we can celebrate the SONrise – in the church, at the lakeshore or even in our own living room.
God’s Easter message is that Jesus has suffered our penalty and died in our stead – The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. (ROMANS 6:23).
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS – OUR RESURRECTION AND OUR LIFE N OW AND ETERNALLY.