Wednesday, April 6, 2011

HOPE FOR TODAY: Finding Hope in Easter

AP Bangkok Bureau Chief, Todd Pitman, came on the scene the morning after the Japan disaster. He wrote, “A man who has not seen his wife since . . . minutes before the tsunami told me with the utmost certainty that she MUST be alive. After failing to find her at seven different shelters, he began searching for her inside a city gym-turned-morgue where the bodies of 300 tsunami victims lay under blue tarps, waiting to be identified.”

As the death toll continues to mount, people are still searching for their loved ones amidst the apocalyptic scene in Japan. Since 2011 started there also has been a deadly earthquake in New Zealand, catastrophic flooding in Australia and unrest throughout the Arab nations.

Events like these on the world stage are not new. We live on a fragile planet and into all this madness enters Easter. It is not about a sale at the department store, days off from school or Easter egg hunts. It is more. It is about God’s Son, Jesus. He suffered, died and rose again from the dead on our behalf.

Many believers in Jesus use the term “Good Friday” to talk about the day of His death. Perhaps we could also call it “Black Friday”. On it, Jesus, an innocent man, took our place in death. He was separated from His Father receiving His judgment and wrath for the sins of all mankind. It was a gruesome day of suffering and death.

The pain due to the suffering and death we have seen this year is for a season. What Jesus experienced through his crucifixion was for a season too. He did it so we would not be separated from God and suffer without Him in the lake of fire – for an eternity.

Sunday is Resurrection Day - a day of hope. Jesus is alive! He overcame sin and death through His bodily resurrection. Through it, He provided a way of escape from the judgment and wrath of God. Through it, He provided freedom from sin and death leading to genuine and lasting hope.

Easter represents light over darkness, good defeating evil and freedom for the captive. The Scripture says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Roman 15:13). May Jesus be your hope for today.