The Good News
There has been plenty of disheartening and worrisome news lately. Sixteen thousand Americans have died from Covid-19. Sixteen million Americans have lost their jobs in the past three weeks. Easter festivities have been canceled in churches across the country.
But today, on Good Friday, we focus on the perfect Lamb, the truth of scripture and exactly what it is that we as Christians are celebrating. (And it's not chocolate bunnies, spiral hams or marshmallow chicks!)
As a child, when I read the Easter story, there was a part of me that wanted a different ending. If only He had come down from the Cross and destroyed His enemies -- that would have demonstrated His power. That is what I thought then. Of course, I soon learned how wrong that thought was.
Christ had to die so that we might have everlasting life. His sacrifice on the cross saved all who believe in Him. As Charles Wesley's great hymn states: "Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me?"
Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
While some worship a god who commands men to die for him, we worship a loving God who gave His son to die for us. What a contrast! What a savior!
But Christ did more than just give up His life. He conquered death and rose from the grave. While Christmas tends to overshadow most holidays, ultimately it is not a birthday that we celebrate -- it is the resurrection.
If Christ had not risen from the grave, He would have been forgotten as a common criminal, a rabble-rouser whose birthday would have no significance.
And with Christ's resurrection, we have confidence.
Confidence in a caring Creator, rather than the chaos of the cosmos.
Confidence in a glorious future, rather than the finality of the grave.
Confidence that sustains us in times of trial and tribulation. Yes, especially in times such as these.
I know many Christians will be disappointed not to be in church this Resurrection Sunday. But I was reminded recently that as we celebrate in our homes, we will be closer to the early Church and to many of our persecuted brothers and sisters than we are used to. Sadly, for many Christians around the world today, following the Cross of Christ means walking a path of persecution.
But today, my friends, let us focus on the Good News that on Easter morning, we do not remember a prophet or a martyr. We worship the risen Son of God!
Thank God for the Cross and the empty tomb. Thank God for the Good News of Christ's resurrection.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!