Message of Easter is one of hope, assurance

Published 8:39 am Monday, April 22, 2019

The Easter story has been called “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” It is a story that has been told on the big screen, on radio, and week after week at church services. It is an amazing story that is just as popular today as when it happened more than 2,000 years ago.
His story opens with a miraculous birth that requires Jesus’ family to flee for their lives from a cruel Roman governor who fears this infant, a descendant of King David, will topple his rule.
The child grows into a man who becomes a carpenter. He leaves his trade and home to travel about with a rough lot, including fishermen and a tax collector, to teach about how the kingdom of God has drawn near.
Jesus gets people’s attention by healing the sick, blind and lame, and turning water into wine.
He feeds thousands who gather to hear him teach by multiplying a few fish and some bread into a feast.
These astounding events and the authoritative teaching by this itinerant raise eyebrows. Could he be the long-awaited savior and son of God? Such suggestions upset the status quo of earthly religious leaders. He winds up caught between Jewish law and the refined Roman system of justice, is convicted and sentenced to death.
Fully human, he dreads his coming sacrifice and yet he proceeds.
Then, three days after suffering an agonizing death on the cross, Jesus is recognized for what He is — the atoning sacrifice for sin once and for all.
Through resurrection, Jesus rises to become what he was all along, but what the world could not see — God with us.
This annual Holy Week is celebrated all around the world in honor and thanks for the hope that was birthed with the events of Christ’s death and resurrection in that long ago biblical account that has been passed down from generation to generation.
To many, the treasured stories of those ancient happenings are but tales told by writers who were greatly influenced by Christ’s life and teachings. But to those of us who daily endeavor to follow His example and principles, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is our eternal endeavor and continued hope.
Over the years, the Easter celebration has expanded to include the Easter Bunny, colored eggs and candies of all sorts, shapes and sizes. New apparel and the wearing of our very best to worship and celebrate has been a sustained tradition symbolizing the new birth made possible by the empty tomb that triumphantly followed the horrible crucifixion.
We live in a tumultuous world, where there is fighting, bigotry, and much hate. But, no matter how upside down the world may seem to be, the story of Easter is real. It remains a beacon of truth, assurance and hope found in the reality of a Christ of Easter’s resurrection.
As the song says, “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow,” and so can you, no matter what the world may throw at you.

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