This Easter will definitely be one of the more memorable ones. I think this would ring true for most people. Unless a miracle happens between the time this is written and Easter, the grim reality of the coronavirus can take a hit on the joy of Easter. So many people cannot visit family, vacation, or simply go to the store to buy all the candy for Easter. Social distancing is now the norm over family closeness. Social media can help, but it is not the same. There is nothing like grandma’s cookies, pies, and having a home cooked meal together. Easter egg hunting is now the last thing anybody is thinking about. What else is there to celebrate for Easter?
In all of these abnormal “norms,” we are reminded of what Easter is really about. Humanity has forgotten the origin of the Christian message. So let’s go over that again to stop and appreciate what this day is all about. In the beginning, God created the universe and all other things. God created humans as part of His creation. Humanity was created by God without sin. Humanity got along with each other. They never took advantage of each other, never lied to each other, never stole from each other. They truly willed to do good for each other. Love was the norm. Humanity was in perfect harmony with each other, God and all His creation.
Then came that fateful day when Adam and Eve sinned. The sin they did wounded the (in a certain sense) spiritual nature of humanity. We now do not understand the world around us. We have ignorance and are subject to the world. We choose not to be in harmony with others and God. We become selfish and find it harder each day to do the good we may even want to do. We have to work and toil. Health, natural disasters, and we ourselves become obstacles. We also lost a beautiful relationship with God. Adam and Eve offended God, but we continue to participate in sin and offend God ourselves.
Many people have tried to pull humanity out of this dark hole, but murder, deceit, selfishness, greed, pride, and lust for power still rules. So many people today are still suffering from depression, abuse and poverty. Humanity has proven many times over that we cannot heal ourselves. Humanity has not evolved; it has digressed despite its scientific breakthroughs.
But all is not lost. God saw our sorrowful plight. He decided to come down to us and became a man like any of us, except sin. He lived among us, that we may get to know Him once again, if we are willing. He has come to heal those who are in need and open to His help. Jesus is that infinite God that existed from the beginning that chose to come down to us and save us.
Jesus chose to die on the cross for us as the means of our salvation. We are in plight today. We need Him daily. In America, we have so many things. We are so blessed; we take for granted how much God has blessed us. Even followers of Jesus are not perfect. We still sin, but we have hope in His promises. God is so good; He will never abandon us. He was raised up on the cross that He may raise us up to His heart. His crucifixion is proof of His love and faithfulness to us. When we look upon a crucifix, we are reminded of His Love. There is a reason for our hope.
Many of us have lost sight of what that hope is because we have it so good here in America. We talk about hope, but what are we hoping for? Not only do we have a roof over our heads, more than likely, it is a good roof; we eat three square meals a day (probably more than that), we have indoor plumbing, electricity, the best medical care in the world, a free society and have the ability to travel when we want. What else is there? Hope is for something we do not have. What don’t we have? All our physical needs are taken care for the most part. Suffering the evil of this world is a small price to pay for being able to do whatever we want, even if that means sinning here and there. We have forgotten how sin drags us down. Where does sin drag us down to?
Wehave been blinded from our spiritual needs and dependence on God. Eventually, death comes to us all, without exception. This is an issue we are dealing with right now. So many people get sick and some are dying. Where are we going? Up? Or down? To Heaven?Or hell? Jesus came to save us from sin and its effects in this life and ultimately in the next. Jesus hates sin; indeed, he hates being offended. Who likes being offended? Yet He loved us so much that He was willing to suffer and die on the cross for us. In doing so, He revealed His true character. This is the God we worship. This is the God we ought to love in return. When we open our hearts to Him, He brings peace that no money can buy, no pride can cover up or selfishness can obtain. No matter how bad things may get, it is only Jesus who can give the gifts that are from above.
The coronavirus may have taken away our family members, work, income, social life, friends, health and many other freedoms. It has taken away many things that we cherish. One thing it cannot take away is our God and the promises He made to us. It cannot take away the joy that wells up to eternal life by having faith in Him. It cannot take away His goodness, but makes us all the more aware of it. It cannot take away His patience for us, His love for us, or His presence from us. The things in this world most often distract us from Him. How good it is to be reminded of how good God has been to us. Amen, He has risen! Death could not hold Him down! He is our help and our support.