Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter in uncertain times

Easter in Uncertain Times

This wasn’t how they thought their Sunday evening would be! They’d had plans for today, and for the future for that matter. Plans that were now dashed with no hope of being achieved. Instead, they were stuck inside, fearful of the hidden danger that sought their lives if they were to venture onto the streets. Not only that, they were grieving. The one who’d brought so much joy to their lives had died on Friday. They hadn’t been there then; they couldn’t be with Him now. What was the future going to hold for them when their whole world was crumbling around them?
Sound familiar? Maybe the current pandemic has derailed you. Maybe this Easter you’re not where you thought you’d be, spending it with those you thought you’d be with. Maybe you’re facing an uncertain future in terms of health, employment, plans… Maybe the effects of the pandemic have struck even closer to home and ones you love are no longer here. Yet it was not the pandemic that had turned the world upside-down for those in the story above.
“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders.” John 20:19 (NLT)
It was the first Easter Sunday. The disciples – Jesus’s close friends and followers – had met together and firmly locked the doors. They were afraid for their lives. Afraid that the Jewish leaders who had just brought about the crucifixion of their leader, Jesus, would be coming after them too. They’d thought that Jesus was going to overcome the Roman government that was oppressing Israel at that time. They thought that He was the One of whom their holy books had spoken, who would be the King they’d been waiting for, who’d draw people back to God. And yet He’d died and been buried and they hadn’t even had the courage to be there with Him when it happened. All that they’d thought was going to happen – all their hopes and dreams and plans for the future – had died with Him. What were they going to do next? What would life hold for them now?
Maybe you can empathise with the disciples. Maybe you too are asking questions and looking for answers.
“Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!” John 20:19b-20
In the midst of their sorrow, fear and uncertainty, Jesus appeared to them. He wasn’t a ghost, a hologram or figment of their imaginations. He had risen from the dead and was alive again! And in the midst of their turmoil, He offered them peace. In the midst of their confusion and lost hopes, Jesus offered them clarity and hope, explaining that His death and resurrection were actually part of God’s plan all along (Luke 24:25-27). In the midst of their grief, He brought them joy. Just as it was then, Jesus wants to bring you peace, hope and joy.
You see, Jesus knew that what each of us really need is not protection from a virus but salvation from the sin (failure to meet God’s perfect standard in our thoughts, words or actions) that brough death into the world and infects all of us. When sin entered our world in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), it brought in death, disease and decay but also broke the relationship between God and mankind. Yet God loved us so much that He didn’t want this to be the end. Even then, in the Garden of Eden, He reveals that He already had a master plan to save mankind. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the death-penalty that our sins deserve so that we don’t have to. Jesus rose from the dead to prove that sin and death have been defeated and that we can have new life in Him and a restored relationship with God. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus provided the cure to mankind’s real problem. God offers this cure freely to any and all who will accept it:
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
At this time of uncertainty, loss and anxiety, will you accept God’s offer of life, peace, hope and joy?
Written by a guest blogger

No comments

Blogger Template Created by pipdig