Jesus is alive
March 23rd, 2020 / By: Jim Richards | Executive Director / comments
April 12th is Easter Sunday! Everything changed on that day nearly 2,000 years ago. Jesus, the God-man, had died on the cross. His lifeless body had been in the tomb for three days and nights. But on Sunday morning, Jesus came out of the grave never to die again. He guarantees anyone who comes to him in repentance and faith the forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
When the apostle Paul spoke of the “hope of the resurrection” (Acts 23:6) he was not using the word “hope” as we do in our common vernacular. If I say that I “hope” the Rangers will win the World Series that might be wishful thinking. Biblical “hope” is a confident expectation. Biblical hope is a factual reality that has not been realized yet.
American Christianity is being put to the test. As I am writing this we are in the midst of a cataclysmic disaster facing this country. Yet we have been here before. In the Civil War there were over 600,000 deaths in a five-year span. The 1918 influenza epidemic killed almost 700,000 Americans. The Great Depression of 1929 devastated the U.S. economy. Half of all banks failed. Unemployment rose to 25 percent and homelessness increased. Housing prices plummeted 30 percent, international trade collapsed by 65 percent, and prices fell 10 percent per year. It took 25 years for the stock market to recover. This is not to minimize the seriousness of the current situation, but Americans have seen worse.
As believers, this should be a wakeup call for us. While there is nothing wrong with having nice things, we can now put them in perspective. We are to be good stewards of the possessions God has loaned to us. We are to take care of our health because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. This crisis also calls us back to sound doctrine. The false claims of the prosperity gospel preachers ring hollow today. I saw where one health and wealth church called off a “healing” service due to the coronavirus. The stark reality of living in a sin cursed world causes false teaching to collapse.
What are we to do if we lost our savings, business, health or even a loved one due to the coronavirus? As followers of Jesus we are to turn to the promise of God. Romans 15:13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Now is the time for our faith to go on the offensive.
Dive into God’s Word. Let it bring you comfort. Spend time in prayer as never before. Seek the Lord’s face—not just his hand of blessing. Share Good News. People are fearful. Depression paralyzes those without hope. We have the message of hope in Jesus. Even in social distancing we need each other. Reconnect with friends and family through electronic means. Make this a time of renewing old friendships and strengthening family ties.
When all is taken away, we have the Lord. Remember everything changed 2,000 years ago. The hope of the resurrection is not wishful thinking. It is the confident expectation that our Risen Lord will be with us through this life and we will be with him in the life to come.