Easter is Coming!
March 14, 2005 • By Ed Wrather
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. – Philippians 3:7-10 NKJV.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8 NKJV.
Where do we find hope when tragedy suddenly comes upon us? Do we blame God…or do we turn to God? When bad things happen to good people, is God responsible? This has been a week of sudden tragedy coming upon unsuspecting and innocent people. There were several people killed and more injured as a man on trial for rape made his escape in Atlanta. In Wisconsin, seven people were killed at a church service and others injured with the shooter then killing himself.
In the midst, of tragedy, trials, and the difficulties that sometimes come upon us in this life there is a Christian holiday that gives hope. Easter is about the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Easter is about God’s great love for us human beings. Easter is about the difference between Hell and Heaven. Easter is about the greatest friend that we will ever have and the worst enemy that we could possibly have.
(Some believe that the word Easter comes from a pagan holiday, it doesn’t, but even if it did God has redeemed the word. God has redeemed the cross from being an instrument of execution to being a symbol of hope. Christianity Today has an excellent article about this mistaken idea about the word Easter. Here is the link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2009/april/was-easter-borrowed-from-pagan-holiday.html)
Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10b). Our enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a). All of creation was corrupted when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of the enemy in the Garden of Evil. Since that time, bad and good things have happened on Planet Earth to all people. Just as, God sends rain upon all people the corruption of creation has resulted in bad things being possible for everyone that lives upon this planet.
When bad things happen in our lives, we should always remember that Jesus came that we might have the abundant life. We should remember that Jesus suffered and died on the cross so that we might have eternal life. We should remember that God through Jesus has experienced the very worst that life can do to anyone. Why was Jesus allowed to suffer such a cruel death on the cross? Because if you will seriously consider what Jesus went through for you, you can have no doubt about God’s love for you (Romans 5:8).
When bad things happen to us, we need to remember that it is not the end of the story if we are children of God. Just as the death of Jesus on the cross was not the end of the story. No, God had the last word about that terrible thing that happened on the cross. God turned that terrible thing into the most wonderful thing that had ever happened when Jesus defeated death by rising from the dead. When that bad thing happens to you, remember that Easter is coming, some bright, shining, day you will know the rest of the story. Some day in eternity you will see how God took that terrible thing that happened to you and then brought the most beautiful and wonderful things out of the bad things that happened (Romans 8:28).
While here on this earth we will as with the apostle Paul have the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus (Philippians 3:7-10), but praise God! Easter is coming!