When I think of Easter, a number of thoughts come to mind. Death is conquered, sin is defeated, and Christ reigns victoriously! But the one word that stands out for me most is hope.
In March of 1987, Beth and I returned to my hometown for what we knew would be the last time to see my mother in this world. She had been battling colon cancer for about a year and only had a few days left to live. My family (my dad, two sisters, brother and his wife) gathered with us in her hospital room for three days to cry, pray, and sing as we watched my mother pass from this life to the next.
Three months earlier, Beth and I sat at Mom’s bedside and heard the confidence in her voice as she expressed the hope that she had in Christ. I still remember her saying, “I have no fear of death, because of my faith in Jesus Christ.”
A local pastor came to the hospital to visit our family. During his visit he said to us, “Easter is only a few weeks away and it is important for us to remember what God accomplished through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is the great hope of our Christian faith. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have the promise and hope that one day we will each have our own Easter experience. As believers in Jesus Christ, we know that although we will die and pass from this world, we will also conquer death and live eternally with God. This year, Easter is coming early for the Luebe family.”
Easter did indeed come early as Mom died a day later. She left her body, which had been devastated by cancer, and entered heaven where she would never again experience “mourning, or crying, or pain.” (Revelation 21:4) She left a world in which she had only seen “a poor reflection as in a mirror,” but now she was seeing God “face to face.” On earth, she had “known in part,” but now she was “knowing fully” (1 Corinthians 13:12) as she came face to face with her Lord and Savior.
My prayer is that this Easter you would know and experience the hope and power of Christ’s resurrection in your life. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!