The Resurrection this Easter is what gives us hope to not only survive these days, but to thrive in His presence and through His power. He has Risen!
“I’m glad to be with you today to share some News – that is especially GOOD during this season of global disruption and pain. Just 4 months ago the idea of a pandemic was something we only thought in terms of box office hits – now we are living in the midst of one with all the fears, anxieties and unsettledness.
As friends who are a part of our Navigator family, I want to bring you some – Easter Good news, and a slant you may not hear very often – good news that is worth passing along – especially during a time like this – when so many people are longing for hope of some kind!
I need this message as much as anyone!
Through the years – when I thought of Easter – it was easy for me to grasp the Good news of the cross of Christ: payment for my sins. And of course, the cross is central to the message of Christianity! But when it comes to the importance of the resurrection – I find that many of us can miss the significance!
The Good News message I want to bring to you today is an Easter Sunday message – a resurrection message! As Paul said in 1 CO 15 –
‘…if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.’
During a pandemic – as eternity-changing as the message of forgiveness is, as foundational as the good news of eternal life in Christ is, what people really feel the need to hear: How does Christianity speak to my today – April 2020 – as I sit in my home, social distancing from the world?
On Easter Sunday – we love to hear, ‘He is Risen’, and then respond, ‘He is Risen indeed!’ But what is the hope behind that response?
One part of Easter message, is forgiveness – redemption, which is grounded in the crucifixion, but there is other good news flowing from the resurrection! One part of the Easter message is focused on confidence of life after death, the other good news is power for life today. I believe that the longing of hearts around the world is to hear of the hope we have of Resurrection power for living through days like we are experiencing in this global pandemic!
So – let’s look briefly at two facets of Hope we have in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, each starting with the letter ‘P’:
The First facet of Resurrection Hope: The Presence of Christ – The resurrection of Jesus proves that He is still alive and that He is present with us every minute of every day! – The fact of the resurrection gives us confidence that what He said is true – that he would never leave us or forsake us! The resurrected Jesus – is here, now, and indwelling the lives of those who believe in Him. During his last days on earth – he told his disciples this – Listen to this good news!:
‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.’ (John 14:18-20)
No matter your pain, no matter your fear, no matter the losses you are experiencing in these days, Easter promises us that the Resurrected Jesus will be with us and in us through it all. The first facet of Resurrection hope – He is Present!
The Second Facet of Resurrection hope is this: The risen Christ gives us Power for each day!
The apostle Paul reveals the second piece of resurrection Good News in Chapter 2 of his letter to the Ephesians:
‘But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ …’ And he goes on to say, ‘And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…’
Not only do we have the confidence that the Resurrected Jesus is present with us, we can also know, that we have been made alive in Jesus, and in Him, we have power for living. Early in the same letter – Paul says that the very power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us.
So even in these uncertain days – the power of the risen Christ is available to us:
– For overcoming sin,
– For living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and
– for displaying the fruit of the Spirit in our relationships and everyday life.
So, this Easter – despite living in a historic time like none we’ve experienced in our lifetime – we can have the hope-filled assurance – for us as believers and followers of Jesus. The Resurrection guarantees two promises for us each and every day:
The Presence of Christ and
The Power of Christ
The message of the Resurrection this Easter gives us hope to not only survive these days but to thrive in His presence and through His power.
‘He is Risen! … He is Risen Indeed!’