Love, Joy, Victory
Love “For as of yet, they did not understand that Jesus had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9). Do you understand that Jesus had to rise from the dead? Do you understand that the grave could not hold him; that your sins would not deter him; that your rejection would not discourage him; that your cruelty would not break him; or that your pride would not lesson his resolve to save you? Do you understand that true love is unbreakable, unshakable, indestructible, and incorruptible? Do you understand that Christ’s love for you is “Death-proof” and “Sin-resistant?” If so, then you know why he HAD to come back from the dead; why he had to come back for you.
Joy Easter Joy is no ordinary kind of joy. It is a joy that comes precisely out of the experience of deep sorrow. In fact you cannot experience the former (joy) without an experience of the latter (sorrow). It is the joy of approaching the tomb to anoint the deceased Savior and instead encountering him alive and speaking your name: “Mary!”(John 20:16). It is the joy of the soldier’s parent who receives the dreaded “We regret to inform you letter…” who later picks up the phone and hears her son’s voice because the letter was a mistake. Easter joy is an unexpected joy; a too- good-to-be-true joy; an “I-can-hardly-believe-it” joy; a “jump-up-out-of-your-seat-and-shout-from- the-roof-top” kind of joy! It’s the experience of resurrection when we thought death had had the last say. It is the Joy of discovering that there is hope for you when you were convinced that all hope was lost. It’s the ultimate Easter Gift that Christ died and rose that you might have!
Victory Death awaits everyone born into this world. Jesus was no exception. But death, which had gone undefeated for all of human history, would meet its match, once and for all, when it confronted God’s only begotten Son. For “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and Power” (Acts 10:38). But our Easter celebration is not limited to a shout of “Congratulations!” to Jesus for rising from the dead, but a cry of “Halleluiah” that HIS victory over death is OUR entry into eternal life! The First Letter of John tells us: “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (5:4). Did you get that? OUR faith in the Victorious One is victory for us because we believe in him! For this reason we can sing with all faith and conviction: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!