A couple of songs ran through my mind today as I thought about the Good News of Easter. Easter celebrates the risen Christ, the Son of God who came to Earth 2000 years ago in order that mankind might be reconciled with the Father God through His death and resurrection. It was an event predicted in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament. Easter represents the annihilation of spiritual death for those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I quote:
1 CORINTHIANS xv.12-26.
“If Christ be not risen!” That is the most appalling “if” which can be flung into the human mind. If it obtains lodging and entertainment, all the fairest hopes of the soul wither away like tender buds which have been nipped by sharp frost! See how they fade!
“Your faith is vain.” It has no more strength and permanency than Jonah’s gourd. Nay, it has really never been a living thing! It has been a pathetic delusion, beautiful, but empty as a bubble, and collapsing at Joseph’s tomb.
“Ye are yet in your sins.” The hope of forgiveness and reconciliation is stricken, and there is nothing left but “a certain fearful looking-for of judgment.” Nemesis has only been hiding behind a screen of decorated falsehoods, and she will pursue us to the bitter end.
“We are of all men the most miserable.” Joy would fall and die like a fatally wounded lark. The song would cease from our souls. The holy place would become a tomb.
“But now is Christ risen from the dead!” Yes, let me finish on that word. That gives me morning, and melody, and holy merriment that knows no end.”
The birth of Christ was prophesied in Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” In 1741, Handel used these same words for libretti in his magnificent oratorio, Messiah. This same child, Jesus Christ, grew up as God in human flesh on Earth. The Lord Jesus experienced what we humans experience: love and hate; joy and sorrow; verve and tiredness. He also came with the knowledge that He would endure pain and suffering, even death on a Roman cross on that Good Friday centuries ago. With His death, he paid the price for our sins in order that we might become reconciled with the Holy God when we accept the Lord Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Through His self-sacrifice on Good Friday, He died on our behalf when we bury our sinful natures by trusting in His sufficiency to save our souls and to live for Him, in Him, and for His glory. When He rose again on the third day, He returned with the Good News that we too – those of us who believe and trust in Jesus as Saviour and Lord – will one day also rise from the dead to be with the Lord God forever.
But Easter is also more than a reminder of the afterlife. In the here and now, where there is so much disorder and unrest in this world, and where there is much wretchedness of body, soul, and mind, the embodiment of Easter on Earth – peace, joy, and goodwill – is an important aspect of this celebration of Christian life. God loved us SO MUCH that He sent His Son to die on our behalf for our sins. As Christians, we are instructed to LOVE as He loved us.
Easter has now become very much like Christmas in much of the commercial and non-Christian world, a parody of its original significance in human spiritual life. I remembered tonight a song that I learned many moons ago which prompted me to write this post. It is written by Dave Bilbrough:
Let there be love shared among us Let there be love in our eyes May now Your love sweep this nation Cause us, O Lord, to arise Give us a fresh understanding Of brotherly love that is real Let there be love shared among us Let there be love (www.higherpraise.com/lyrics/love/love853233.htm)
More verses have been added to the song which, I feel, speaks volumes about how important love, joy, peace, and hope are in this broken world of ours: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO0Xcd3lrr4
This Easter, if you are looking for love, joy, peace and hope, call upon the Lord, and say, “Speak to me, Lord, for I am listening. Show me your will and your way.” The Lord is always there if you seek Him with all your heart. And if you doubt . . . as even many Christians do? Consider the father who asked Jesus to heal his son in Mark 9:
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Unbelief is something that Christians often struggle with as we try to be self-sufficient instead of leaning on the Lord. A couple of posts I came across talk about the problem of unbelief: ‘Lord, Help My Daily Unbelief‘ and ‘I Believe; Help My Unbelief‘.
This Easter, may you experience the joy of belief and life in the Lord Jesus.