Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Resurrection

I asked the confirmation class to write a paragraph on "What Easter means to me." As I thought about it, I wondered what Easter did mean to me. So what was good for the goose is also good for the gander. Here goes.

Easter means life. I know that I am going to die one day. All my loved ones are going to die. We cannot get out of this world alive (unless Christ returns before we die). When I die, this body will be laid in a grave. It seems like such a dismal end. A cold, dark box lowered into the ground and covered with dirt is where my body will go. Yuck. That doesn't sound too good to me.

Yes, my soul will enter into eternity with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yet, that isn't the end of the story. This body, this very one that I am trying to take care of right now, this body that dies and returns to dust, will one day be raised to life again. On the day when Jesus returns upon the clouds, this body will rise form the dead. It will rise victorious over death. It will be glorified (only the Lord knows fully what that means) and body and soul together will enter into eternity with my Lord. Jesus rising from the dead gives to me the assurance that even though I die, yet shall I live.

This body will rise again. It will live - even better than it is right now. There will be no sin nor any results of sin upon this body. Never again will I have to go to the doctor for the Lord will give this frail body perfection in which it will no longer be frail. I will live physically because Jesus rose from the dead. Easter means that I myself, with these eyes, will see the Lord standing upon the new earth. I will be praising the Lord almighty with these lips and with this voice.

Yes, Easter means life. True life, complete life for me and for all believers in Jesus Christ. It means that my loved ones who died believing in Jesus will live again. I know this because Jesus rose from the dead and tells me that in Him, there is new life, holy life, eternal life.  Life! Physical resurrection.

Easter means hope. I see so much despair and hurt in the people's lives. There is pain from the loss of loved ones who have died. There is emptiness in heart and life because a father or mother, a husband or a wife, a son or daughter, a friend, a neighbor or someone else has died. The heart hurts. It aches. But that is not the end of the story. There is eternal life - physical, eternal life. That person's soul is with the Lord and one day, on the day of resurrection, the body and soul will be reunited and they will live physically for an eternity. There will be no more pain or emptiness. There is hope. True hope. Hope that doesn't disappoint. Yes, there is pain now. There is the ache of the heart that has lost and cannot have again. But that is not the end of the story. Jesus lives! He rose! And all who believe in Him will rise too. They will live. That is hope.

Easter is all about the new life that is given in Christ Jesus. I can face today because Jesus lives. I can hear the bad news that is shared with me because Jesus lives. I can know that even as this body breaks down and becomes weak, Jesus lives. I know that no matter what happens, even I lose everything, that Jesus lives. And because He lives, I have comfort, peace, hope and joy. I have it all because Jesus lives. (Some will say I can say this because I have never lost anything. If you think that, I am sorry. It isn't true. But I do not dwell on what I have lost. I focus on what I have in a risen Christ.)

Easter (by Easter I mean the resurrection of Jesus from the dead) is my everything. Because of Easter I can get up in the morning and face the day. Because of Easter I can go through the day. Because of I can sleep at night. Because of Easter I know that no matter what happens to me or to those around me, there is still peace and hope.

Easter is life, here in time and forever in eternity.

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