“If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.” – 1 Corinthians 15:19
Among other wondrous things, Easter reminds us that there is much, much more to life than the things which we presently can see, touch, feel, and experience. The Gospel writers tell us that when the disciples entered Jerusalem with Jesus, they were mesmerized by the enormity and splendor of the temple (see Mark 13: lff). Historical records show that they had good reason for their awe. But Jesus cautioned them not to take too much stock in the “wonderful stones” which they saw before their eyes. Someday, he warned, the temple would all be rubble.
In such passages as these, and in other more personal ways, we are often reminded that even the most glorious creations of this earthly life inevitably will come to an end. And of this stinging truth, there is no more convincing messenger than death itself. A closing breath speaks more profoundly to the human soul than all the words our voices can muster.
But there is a word, there is another sound, which has an even more final ring to it than death’s shrill peal. “He is risen!” is the eternal song of the people of God. Upon these brief and simple words hang all the weight of human hope and faith. Nothing can change this truth, and nothing can surpass it in its power. In the midst of the rubble, in the midst of all that is tainted by mortality, in the midst even of death, there waves a banner of shimmering colors whose message supersedes everything that has come before: “But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead.”
Hope that is placed in the God of Jesus Christ, says the apostle Paul, can never disappoint us. Hope that is placed in anyone or anything less, however, will ultimately let us down. The good news of Easter, the gospel of Christ’s resurrection, is that our hope has not been misplaced. Death, our fiercest enemy, has been defeated. Henceforth, what we may think of as “the end” is not really the end at all. The final word belongs to God, and that Word goes on forever.
Prayer: You fell asleep in mortal flesh, 0 Lord and King; but on the third day you rose again. You raised Adam from decay, you did away with death; you, the immortal Passover, the world’s salvation. Glory to you. Amen
In His Peace, Pastor Kurt