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He Is Risen

This is the first Easter that many of us won’t be with our loved ones. Either you are isolated from them because you’re sheltering in place, or worse, you have lost them. Though you are breathing on your own, there are too many who cannot.

Our babies aren’t dressed up in their Sunday best today. Mothers and daughters aren’t wearing color-coordinated outfits with every hair in place. Little boys aren’t running around, looking like their daddies with fresh haircuts and suits to match. It seems like a distant memory when we last cheered them on as they scattered in search of Easter eggs with their friends.

Parents and grandparents are missing church service today. We’ve had a few weeks to learn how to master FaceTime and Zoom just to have some semblance of togetherness. But, it’s not the same. We can’t even gather in worship to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What kind of Easter is this?

If you’re a believer, you already know that God is in control. With Him, there are no coincidences. This global pandemic that has shut down society is a wakeup call for us all. We are assured of God’s almighty power when our own limitations become apparent. In a matter of weeks, we have been stripped of our way of life. We’re having to learn to live without the things that we thought were more important than God, even our jobs and our families.

Sowing and reaping aren’t just Biblical terms anymore as people wonder if they’ll be able to buy food for their families. Nobody cares if their eyebrows and lashes are perfect this week. Unless our muscles can be used to carry groceries to the sick and elderly, they’re useless. Is anyone still flexing for the gram? If so, what more needs to happen for us to get on our knees and humble ourselves?

Even in our quarantine haze, we busy ourselves with mindless activities, waiting for the day when we can go back to business as usual. But, that’s not what this time is for. If we go back to business as usual, then we’re missing the point. We’re missing the opportunity to turn to God in a way that brings back the peace and longevity we took for granted long long ago, way back in February.

When we turn our backs on our Father, and fill our time with everything else under the sun, how can we expect for Him to hear us when we call upon Him in our time of need? Furthermore, how do we think it makes our Father feel when we ignore Him, reject Him, crucify Him with our words and actions? And, then we He responds by giving us exactly what we ask for, which is His absence, why do we blame Him for forsaking us? Those of us who are parents can relate to this.

Yes, this is a devastating time for families and individuals. But, it’s also an eye-opening gut check, if we allow ourselves to look deeper than what the eye can see. This is not the first time that humans have had to humble themselves and turn back to the Lord.

Listen. Jesus gave His life for us. He was beaten, bloodied, spit upon, tortured and crucified when His own people joined forces with their enemies. Even within Jesus’ own circle, there was one who sold Him out. Jesus did so much good, but His very presence shined a light on the darkness of those around Him who couldn’t stand to see how dirty they really were. So, they crucified Him.

He fed the hungry, yet they crucified Him. He healed the sick, yet they crucified Him. He encouraged the poor in spirit, yet they crucified Him. But, no matter how hard they tried, they could not “kill him dead.”

On this day, we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose again. Death could not stop Him. For 40 days afterwards, He walked the face of the earth in victory, then ascended to Heaven. Meanwhile, His previously disillusioned followers were emboldened to spread the Good News to all the nations. Let this be a lesson to us all. What was meant for evil, God meant it for good.

So, what’s the purpose of what we’re all going through today? What is your individual purpose if you’re fortunate enough to survive this? These are the life-changing questions we could be meditating on as we spend our time in isolation.

Yes, this is arguably the most horrific time in our generation, but what good could come of it? How can we be transformed? How can we get to know God better? How can we learn to hear from Him directly? How can we heal our land, as well as ourselves?

We may be feeling disillusioned, even defeated, like Jesus’ disciples. But we still have some Good News to share. Regardless of whether we live or die on this earth, the Lord has reserved a place for us in His Kingdom. Jesus is Risen!