Easter. Just saying the word speaks of hope. Something that for the last year has been in short supply. I have often quoted this truth: a person can live three weeks without food, three days without water and three minutes without air but not one second without hope.
But what is the link to Easter and Hope? Everything! Christians celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ, one who had died, was buried, then came out of the grave, alive!
It is the truth and belief that separates the Christian faith from all others. Jesus, the son of God, gave His life on the cross for all who would believe, literarily and physically. Then three days later, He literarily and physically rose from the grave. No other group can give that testimony. Jesus is our hope because he conquered death, hell, and the grave!
Bill Gaither said it best in his song Because He Lives: “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future and life is worth the living, just because He lives!!
After last year, many were pinning their hopes of a fresh start and new beginning to the new year. However, the clock and calendar changed but not much else. It is just a reminder that our hope is not found in a certain place, position or even time. Our hope is found in a risen savior. That is what Easter is all about.
Going back and looking at the very first Easter, it was much the same. Jesus, the one His followers had pinned their hopes on, believing He would change their world for the better, witnessed Him die on a cross. Now, He lay dead in a garden grave. For them, their hope died that day with Jesus. In a tomb, behind a stone, laying on a slab with a cloth over Him. Easter for them was a day for a funeral not a celebration.
Luke tells us in chapter twenty-four of his gospel that two ladies came to the tomb with spices to anoint the body of Jesus. They were looking for the dead, their hope was gone, and they came prepared for a funeral. But they would soon find out, Hope was very much alive.
The stone was rolled away and the angels said, “why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but He is risen!” These very words mark the testimony of Easter. Not just then, but every Easter.
This chapter also says it was the dawn of a new day. For me, I see this Easter as just that, the dawning of a new day. I feel like for a year now, we too have been in mourning, preparing for a funeral, with hope in lock down like everything else. But, just like those women, we too can experience the dawning of a new day, Hope is not dead, He is alive.
This Sunday – let us celebrate the risen savior. Not because the calendar tells us we are supposed to, but because the stone has been rolled away and Jesus rose from the grave, granting us a New Day of hope.
How do we celebrate? Go to church this Sunday. Many are having outside services for those who are not ready to go in and for those who are able and ready, go inside the church and worship the risen savior. Sing loud, say amen and give God praise for hope in Christ alone. Afterwards, spend time with family and friends, eat some great food and even hide or hunt some eggs.
Jesus is alive, it’s time to celebrate!