Easter is a season of hope
April 3, 2015
I recently lost my sister who was very dear to me. When you lose someone close, there are always regrets of the ways things could have been better. I could have been a better brother. I could have called more or visited more. I guess if we know the way things are going to work out, we would always do things differently.
I often wonder what was going through Peter's and John's, minds after Mary Magdalene brought them to the empty tomb. They saw Jesus' body was no longer there. The cloth he was wrapped in was there, but he was not. The Bible says "The disciples went back to where they were staying." Everything they had put their hope in for the past three years of their lives was gone. They had left their jobs, their families, forsaken everything to follow this carpenter and now, not only was he dead, but his corpse was missing. That walk back had to be a long walk.
The Bible says, "They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead." They had no hope. I used to live with no hope. What a miserable place that was. I still feel pain and sorrow, but not like I used to. Peter must have had some terrible regrets. He had denied Christ three times while Jesus was suffering. John was much more faithful, standing there even as Jesus was hanging on the cross, and yet he still was helpless.
Neither understood the situation or had any hope for their future, let alone what would happen in the next couple of moments. They too could be persecuted as followers of Jesus. They could be killed themselves. The fear and hopelessness must have been unbearable. I can remember many of these feelings before I understood the meaning of Easter.
Do you know the meaning of Easter? Easter is everything! It's not bunnies and pretty eggs. Not that bunnies and pretty eggs are bad, but they pale in comparison to what Easter truly is. Easter is victory over death! "Death has been swallowed up in victory!" Jesus has overcome for us what we all fear the most. Because of what Jesus has done we now have hope. Jesus broke the chains of death and offers us life after death.
There's a hope in Easter that's not found anywhere else. Jesus is this hope. He's the life who cannot be overcome by death and he offers this life to you. "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him," (Psalm 34:8).
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My sister, Shelly, went to be with the Lord on March 22 after battling cancer for just a few days short of one year. She was 58 years old. I'm looking forward to the day I see her again.
Lt. Mark Cyr is pastor of The Salvation Army, 661 Colorado St. Carson City, NV 89701. For information go to carsoncitysalarmy.org.