easter cross web“Nothing binds a people to their leader like a common enemy. Voters don't change governments during war.” — Harvey Fierstein. Resurrection Day, commonly called “Easter,” is nigh. The seeds that have been buried in the ground are coming out of hiding, and the ferns are unfolding. The suburban landscape is bursting with plastic, pretend bunnies, chicks, and eggs, impostors that have no real life in them. As the season approaches, another story unfolds — a story of a man who was buried and came out of hiding, separating himself from the impostors by bringing new life to the world. This is the story of the gospel, a word that means, “good news.” Let’s allow the apostle Paul to explain what we mean:

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1–4).

Jesus Christ was crucified on what we call Good Friday. Do we wonder why such an undeserved death was “good”? It was because Jesus paid the death penalty for our sins. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Jesus Christ alone rose from the grave by his own power, never to die again, unlike many religious impostors that have come before and after him. “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24). And he longs to share that new life with everyone.

We live in a world full of trouble, from aches and pains to avarice and persecution. And it all ends with the final curtain call of the Grim Reaper. What hope have we poor mortals?

Our hope lies in the words of Jesus himself: “I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18). It is Christ who controls our final enemy. Because he rose a victor over death, his disciples are also promised life beyond the Great Beyond.

Not only so, but the grave itself is in grave danger. “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14). This vision of the future speaks of a time when death itself will be destroyed forever. “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).

It is so easy to become discouraged when troubles come. It seems nights are endless and days are dreary. But the believer in Jesus can take heart, knowing that an eternal springtime is coming thanks to Resurrection Day!

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:16–17).

So, while we battle the troubles of the world, let us cling to the only risen Lord and each other, knowing that our final enemy will one day be vanquished!

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