Happy Easter everyone. What a glorious day. He is risen. He is risen indeed. The ultimate victory over our sin came through the selfless act of Jesus Christ giving up His life for poor, miserable sinners like us and His glorious rising in complete victory over those sins.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:57
We deserve nothing. We have earned nothing. Yet, we have been given peace and joy through Christ’s victory.
Since Easter Sunday falls between college basketball’s Final Four semifinal games last night and the National Championship game on Monday night, it seemed easy to tie these two events together. Yet, every word I wrote, and deleted, proved to be an injustice. Not even the upset of a previously undefeated college basketball team can come close to matching what Christ did for us.
In the gloom of Good Friday, Christ died on the cross and darkness filled the earth. On Easter morning Mary Magdalene and other women arrived at the tomb before sunrise to find the tomb empty. Instead, angels proclaimed the rising of our Savior. When Jesus appeared to Mary on Easter Day, the darkness of sin was gone, replaced again by the Light of the world.
“I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” – John 8:12
The photograph chosen for this story, in some small way, represents the Light of the world rising on Easter morning and wiping away the darkness of sin for all believers. That is now our eternal life, but here on earth sin remains. The devil continues his battle to win us over from that eternal knowledge. We live in a constant fight against all the problems of life that challenge believers endlessly. That is why the photograph also represents something very earthly to me and our family.
On a Friday afternoon in March, I was readying to cover KU’s home-opening softball game at their new ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. The weather was bright, sunny and unusually warm for a March game day. A phone alert sounded with a message from our church’s senior pastor, Rev. Peter Lange, to call him as soon as possible.
My phone call to Lange suddenly changed that sunny day to darkness. Our pastor and our friend wanted me to know he was suffering from leukemia and was beginning immediate chemotherapy. While the prognosis is very good for remission, the disease is truly devilish in that it can, sadly, always come back. In October, our family lost another friend, Dr. Gary Counselman, our long-time chiropractor, from complications related to his chemotherapy treatments for leukemia.
However again, the Light represented in the photograph rises to wipe out the darkness. It is often said that God gives us only the challenges we can handle. Laura, though, pointed out we daily prove we cannot handle anything due to our sin. Yet, because of the Easter victory of Jesus Christ over our sin, God shines His face upon us and brings us the strength and peace we need to cope with whatever life throws at us or other Christians like Lange and Counselman.
God is proving just how brightly the Light continues to shine through Pastor Lange. That message shines in our hearts and minds every time our congregation sees him. Our family looks forward to this glorious Easter Sunday and the celebration of the ultimate victory that is ours through Christ. That makes me want to stand up and cheer. Happy Easter.