Happy Easter…Let’s Celebrate the Resurrection of the King!

This Easter everything is different. Most of us are staying home, church services are cancelled, family dinners are cancelled, egg hunts, cancelled, it seems like everything that we have come to view as Easter has been taken away from us. Though we can’t venture out and do our normal routines this year, we can take a minute to take a look at the real meaning of Easter. This is the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

 Here is the account from John 20.

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the [a]handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not [b]know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to [c]Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the [d]disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

It’s not the all the activities and trappings that make Easter, it is the one who gave Himself for us that makes Easter. Take a minute and consider Him, teach your children the true meaning of Easter and then give thanks to the one who made it all possible…Jesus Christ the King!

Learning to Walk in the Fire

The Corona Virus outbreak has changed the way the whole world is living right now. We are stuck at home and can only go to businesses that are considered essential to survival and we are cut off from everything that we normally would do. We took for granted that we would go to work daily and return home, visit with family and friends, attend church services on Sunday and otherwise live a normal human life. Suddenly, a virus shows up and everything changes. Everything we used to do is off limits to us for fear of becoming infected or infecting others. The fire is now raging out of control, we can’t pay our bills, we can barely afford to live and our support systems have been cut off. What is God doing to us?

First, let’s take a moment and let’s do what Jesus said in John 14:27 “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Did not Jesus promise us His peace? Did He not promise to never leave us nor forsake us? Yes and Yes. For the child of God, this is nothing more than learning to walk in the fire. Remember the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3? “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the[e] Son of God.” This is a lesson in learning to trust God in difficult times.

The corona virus may seem scary and out of control, but it is subject to God’s word and His limits. It will depart when it has accomplished His purposes in the earth. God is warning all people everywhere that it is time to repent, meaning to turn from our sin and give our hearts and lives to Him, and get our lives in order with Him. We who are called Christians need to learn to trust in God alone. Not in the world, nor in uncertain riches, nor any other thing, only God.

God is preparing His people to stand unafraid of the events which will soon come upon the earth. Many of them will be very frightening, so much so that peoples hearts will seize up in their chest. Jesus told us this was coming in Luke 21:26 “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…” How will we who are called to be salt and light in the earth be able to minister to those who are without hope unless we have learned to be calm in the midst of the storm? We need to learn to walk by faith, not by what we see, but by putting our trust in our loving Father.

If you are reading this and you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, right now you are saying in your heart, Brother Fred, how can anybody possibly have peace while a virus is killing people all over the world? I will answer with this, it’s the peace that passes all understanding that God gives to those who surrender to Him. Notice I said surrender…not just giving Him lip service, but actually coming into a living, breathing relationship with Him. How do we do this? By asking Him to have mercy upon us, by confessing that we are lost sinners in need of a savior, by believing that God sent His only begotten Son into the world to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world…and yes, that means you and me. And most of all, by confessing that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, was crucified, that God raised Him from the dead on the third day and that he ever lives to make intercession for those that come to Him in faith. If we ask Him to save us, He will, He will radically change us from death to life, life eternal. Cry out to Him!

Happy Easter everyone…this is what Easter is truly all about.