“Resurrection” is an exciting word, for it refers to something that was dead or appeared to be dead coming back to life. Spring is full of the spirit of resurrection - from hard brown bulbs and barren tree branches bringing colorful flowers and beautiful foliage to chicks and ducks breaking out of their hard, confining shells. The spirit of life that we feel in the process of resurrection brings great joy and hope, often from what had seemed barren or incapable of producing life… yet life appears, and there is instantly a promise for the future and a reason for great celebration.
On Good Friday, the world was dark… the Savior had been crucified. But on Sunday, there was hope and the promise of something our limited minds could barely conceive, as Jesus did the impossible by overcoming death. The grave could not hold HIm… death had no power over Him. And to us He gave hope as well, for His death as payment for our sin and His resurrection to give us the hope of eternal life would forever change the picture for mankind. I Peter 1:3-7 puts it this way: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
As the Easter season approaches, many of us will be looking back at plans for Easter celebrations that were cancelled last year, opportunities that were missed to celebrate in our churches and with our families. As we come together now, with many churches reopening and vaccines allowing more and more to safely gather, let us celebrate with the spirit of resurrection, rebirth, a new beginning. Let’s allow our hearts to experience a newness of life and resurgence of joy that come with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our world is desperate for this kind of hope, and it is really only available through the spiritual renewal we receive when we connect with the One who died in our place and conquered death for us.
Who in your circle of influence needs encouragement? Who appears to feel depressed, anxious, or defeated? Take a few moments to think about those who may feel lifeless or hopeless, often from circumstances which they cannot control. Make a list of those who come to mind.
Begin by praying for those on your list, but also commit to sharing hope or joy with them. Let them experience the love and hope of Jesus as He uses you to touch their lives. Not only will it be a blessing to them…. But you will find yourself blessed as well.