No, Easter has not been cancelled due to Covid-19. Yes, it will look different but we’ll still pause and remember what Jesus did for us nearly 2000 years ago. I always find Easter tends to creep up on me since the date varies year-to-year but this year has been even more so with all the focus and distraction of the Corona Virus. We may feel like we’re in a blizzard or winter has returned but as the past weekend has demonstrated, spring is around the corner. I have the hope of all that comes from this great season. As I’ve been teaching of late in anticipation of Easter and considering in my own journey with God, I’ve been thinking a lot about hope.
We hope for many things- to win the lottery, to lose 5lbs, that the Leafs would win the Stanley Cup (some may be happy hockey is cancelled!) but what really is this kind of hope? It’s wishful thinking. When the Psalmist wrote: ‘Put your hope in God” (Ps.42:5) he didn’t have this whimsical idea like we saw earlier. No, he was not thinking of ‘cross your fingers and think happy thoughts’. No, just as Paul talked about being “joyful in hope” (Rom.12:12) the Bible has a very different take on it. When we read ‘hope’ here it means confident expectation or anticipation. It’s like the days leading up to Christmas or the night before your birthday. You know it’s coming and you can’t wait!
This kind of hope is built on the promises of God as found in the Bible. This is a hope that does not disappoint (Rom.5:5). If we’re honest with ourselves we do suffer a lot of disappointment in our lives. We’re disappointed and discouraged by all our activities being cancelled by Covid, how our routine has been blown up or closer to home we’re disappointed by our marriages, our relationships, and on and on it goes. We lack hope, despair crowds in. We try to rally our spirits but it’s hard. But when we put our hope in God, in the promises of scripture, no matter what’s happening around us, we’ll find we’re not disappointed because our hope is in God.
How do you experience that kind of hope? Simply, you need to align yourself to God and His rules for life. He can’t empower what He’s not in. That means we need to practice the spiritual disciplines of confessing our sins and that Jesus is Lord, repenting, or turning from, the things that are displeasing to God, accepting His gift of forgiveness and then living according to the precepts and principles of the Bible. When we do that, we can truly experience a lasting, deep and satisfying hope.
At Easter time we are reminded anew that God loved us so much He sent His only son to die for us, that the Word became flesh and that anyone who believes in Him, confessing Jesus as Lord and believing in their heart God raised Him from the dead, then they will not perish but experience the joy, hope and promise of life everlasting in Heaven, a real place. (John 3:16, John 1:14, Rom.10:9)
At Easter we remember Jesus dying a criminal’s death on a Roman cross but through that voluntary act defeating sin. We remember Jesus burial after his death, a reminder that there are dark days for those who are His followers, but we also remember a stone rolled away, an empty tomb, death could not hold Him down and are reminded that death has been defeated by Him. Through this we too will experience a future resurrection into a perfect living for eternity in a place where there is no more war, abuse, divorce, disease or suffering-Heaven.
And that gives us hope and is our hope, our confident expectation, our anticipation of what’s to come, found at this special time of year-Easter. That trumps even Covid-19. Let’s celebrate this hope!
#faith #hope #easter #trustgod