This Easter, perhaps more than any in recent history, it’s important for us to remember the deeper truths of the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Here are five of those truths from previous articles to reflect on this week.
Easter Weekend is the Hinge of History
The great thing about Easter weekend is that all the weight need not be placed on Friday and Saturday (though sometimes it seems all the weight is placed on Friday). The reason we celebrate this weekend is because Christ was resurrected on Sunday morning. He went on to appear to his disciples and give them a greater hope than they could have imagined even when they were with him during his pre-crucifixion ministry.
Christ’s victory over death and sin puts the two previous days into proper perspective without denying their importance or diminishing the experience… Christ’s resurrection ought to inject hope into all the experiences we have in the world of work, including our cruciform disappointments and periods of perplexity. The victory of Christ even puts the best days in perspective, as none of our achievements are as great as the dead being raised.
We can be people who live in truth, hope, and humility as we do our part in being stewards of the work God has given each of us.
On these three days, the hinge of history, Christ’s work touches our experiences and puts them in perspective.
Read more from Dr. Vincent Bacote.
The Hope of Resurrection
The Bible defines hope as a “confident expectation” based on the promises of God. Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown: “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience (Rom. 8:24-25).”
And in the book of Hebrews: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).”
Hope is not a feeling. It is an intellectual acknowledgment that God is faithful.
Paul says that because Christ was raised from the dead, Christians have the great hope and assurance that we too will be raised from the dead at the end of this age. We will be given new, resurrected bodies that are imperishable, in which we will live with Christ forever in the new earth.
Read more from Hugh Whelchel.
The Salve of Easter can Ease Your Suffering
Suffering can make it difficult for some to fully experience the joy of Easter. Perhaps you can relate. In your head, you know the good news of Easter, but in your heart, you’re still hurting. Singing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” with gusto may be too hard right now. That’s OK.
I believe there’s a way to honestly approach Easter that allows us, no matter our heart condition, to create a small crack into which the precious salve of Easter can seep into our present suffering…
The paradox of following Christ is that a suffering believer can flourish. Christ turns our ashes into beauty as a living demonstration of his love: “To grant those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified (Isaiah 61:3).”
How we respond to our suffering has profound implications for our work. It is my prayer that you would be open to the love of God entering your deepest pain this Easter that something beautiful will come from it in every aspect of your life.
Read more from Kristin Brown.
The Significance of the Crown of Thorns
The crown of thorns is not merely a sign of mocking of Christ as he was beaten, judged, and crucified. The thorns are a symbol of the future hope when “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).
This hope is made possible by Christ’s substitutionary atonement for human sin. When Christ was cursed on our behalf he took the judgment of God in our place. Christ’s crown presents a sign of the work that was taking place on the cross.
Just as thorns infested the ground as a result of Adam’s sin, so Christ’s crown of thorns indicates Christ’s work to lift the physical signs of the curse.
Christ’s work in redeeming all creation gives meaning to our lives now beyond just the “spiritual” things that we do. All of creation will be redeemed and restored.
Read more from Andrew Spencer.
Now We Await His Return
The parable of the wise and faithful servant (Matt. 24:45-51) teaches us to always be watching for the return of the master, living our lives like we expect his imminent return, yet also being willing to wait for him for another thousand years.
We can take great solace in the knowledge that the Master will return. Through his life, death, and resurrection, Christ has begun a process of restoration that will not only transform us but, when his work is completed, it will restore the world around us. He is truly making all things new, a process that was started during his earthly ministry and will be finalized when he returns. And it is through the power of that work that we are empowered to do the work he has called us to do.
Read more from Hugh Whelchel.
As you begin this week, with all its uncertainty and expectations, remember that these truths are infusing your work with purpose as we wait for Christ’s return.