This Easter is unlike any other in recent history. In an effort to follow government guidelines for “social distancing” related to the COVID-19 pandemic, many churches are voluntarily shutting their doors for the first time in the history of our country.
But you and I know 2020 is not the first Resurrection Sunday where followers of Jesus huddled in their homes.
In the hours after Jesus’ crucifixion, his disciples had every earthly reason to fear. The same secular and spiritual leaders who had conspired to put Jesus to death could soon be coming for them as well.
At that moment, the disciples may have forgotten the promise Jesus gave them only hours earlier:
Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.John 16:32-33
In an era of Coronavirus, it’s easy to feel like those first-century disciples. If we watch the daily White House press conference or read the latest news online, we may end up anxiously sitting alone in our homes, afraid of what might be about to happen.
However, as dark as it was that first Easter Weekend, you and I know the rest of the story! It’s not about bunnies. It’s not about egg hunts and gift baskets. It’s not even about packed churches with everyone dressed in their nicest outfits.
Today, just like 2000 years ago, Easter is about a promise. Our Lord and Savior warned us that we would have tribulation – and I think this virus certainly counts!
Yet He also promised us peace. And He commanded us to be courageous, for even before He was nailed to that cross, he proclaimed:
I have overcome the world.
This Easter, may we remind each other that God’s promises are real, and our hope is secure in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
HE IS RISEN!