On Sunday, Christians across the world will do as they have done for thousands of years — celebrate Easter, the day of Jesus’ resurrection on the third day after His death by crucifixion.
According to Christian beliefs, this day, this event, is considered to be the most important in the faith, owing to the necessity of the resurrection in establishing that Jesus was who He said He was and that the promises made about Him were true.
Perhaps more than that, for Christians, Easter is a reminder of the hope that another of Jesus’ promises, that of the resurrection of all believers into eternal life, awaits at the end. This event is the cornerstone on which believers lean.
Hope is a powerful thing. Hope is a necessary thing for our survival. Without hope, without us leaning on the promises of a better tomorrow and beyond, all that is left is for us to simply give up, to allow things to happen as they will.
We are in a time in which hope is not always in ready supply. The COVID-19 virus, as it has ravaged the globe, has left in its wake death, disruption and change. Our world will likely never be the same after this event. What it will look like, how we will live, remain in question.
Uncertainty is the ruling factor in our lives right now. In the biblical stories which tell us of the time between the events immediately leading to the crucifixion on Good Friday and the resurrection on what we now know as Easter Sunday, there is a narrative of confusion, of loss, a story of mourning and fear.
But, at the end of the story, there is a restoration of hope. There is always hope.
We have entered a dark and confusing time in our world’s history. It’s not necessarily entirely new, but the way we are responding, the way we are currently living, is entirely different.
The fact that all this is happening during the Lenten season, leading to Easter Sunday and beyond, has not been lost on many of the faithful. In the Lenten season, many Christians forgo things — habits, pleasures, sometimes basic comforts — to remind them of their reliance on God. The observance begins with Ash Wednesday, a day intended to remind believers of their mortality and need for repentance.
The entire world has entered a Lenten season over the past few weeks. Normal life has been interrupted. Many of the things on which we rely in our daily lives have been removed from us, and not voluntarily. The reality of our own fragility, our own mortality, is something we’re forced to confront daily. It is a driving factor in our compliance with the recommendations of health officials and government officials.
But there is hope. There is always hope.
Just like Jesus’ followers in the dark days between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we are in a holding pattern, held between what was and what is to come. The other side of all this remains unclear, uncertain. And, so often our minds dwell in the worst possible version of that future, the version that is antithetical to hope.
But, hope did not die on Good Friday. Hope lived on and does so through to this day and beyond.
Hope comes from understanding and knowing that a better day lies ahead, that there is a reason for our sacrifices and suffering, that there is meaning behind all of this.
This Easter Sunday, take time to work through the things that are causing your hope to be delayed or to falter. Share in the hope that Christians will celebrate on Sunday, the rising of the messiah, even though they must be apart for now.
Until the day when we experience our own resurrection, we share in wishing you will see the fulfillment of the Apostle Paul’s words to the Roman church in Romans 15:13: “‘I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”