Have you noticed how even good news usually comes with some kind of disclaimer? The TV meteorologist forecasts a sunny, picture-perfect spring day and then adds, “But rain is on the way for tomorrow.” The Sunday paper advertises an incredible store discount, but follows it by “certain exclusions apply.” The nightly news reports positive developments on the battle against coronavirus, but then come sobering statistics on the death rate.
Yesterday our thoughts were focused on the events of Good Friday. In last night’s Tenebrae service we heard the somber details of Jesus’ crucifixion as the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the world. It is not just dry history with no application to us. The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Jesus suffered for our sins too. Yet even on the hill of Golgotha there was a glimmer of light and hope, for before He died Jesus cried out in triumph, “It is finished!”
Today we wait in anticipation of the dawn of Easter—and for good reason. There are no “buts” or disclaimers in Easter. It is entirely good news—the best, most exhilarating news sinners could ever hear. The angels at the tomb did not say to the women, “Jesus tried to be the Savior, but He died and failed.” They said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!” By His death Jesus did not partially pay for sin, but now it’s up to us to finish the job by our own efforts. It’s done, once and for all. We know that because the grave couldn’t hold Him. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). It is not that we merely hope Jesus will one day raise us from the dead, but that we can’t be sure. There’s no doubt about it. Paul writes, “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). There is no downside to Easter. It is all about the fulfillment of God’s gracious promises. He made them and He kept them to the letter.
So let’s not be afraid to believe and celebrate the Easter news. It is every bit as good as it sounds. Christ is risen as our Lord and Savior from sin and death. His victory is ours by faith. Though we cannot join in praising Him in person, let’s joyfully sing our “Hallelujahs” with one another to His glory in our homes trusting that He hears us for His mercy’s sake.
Yours in Christ,
Our Easter song service will stream live at 8 a.m. tomorrow on YouTube, and afterwards be uploaded to Ustream. Click here for directions to finding the service online.
Also, click here for Easter coloring pages and activities for our younger members.