I don’t know about you but I’m still hanging out in Easter.
As I think back over the last 18 years of Easters here at Calvary, it’s hard to remember too many where there was a bigger need for hope; on an individual level, and a national level, and of course right here on a community level. People struggling in marriages, struggling with cancer, struggling financially, and in so many other ways. On the national level, the issues facing our country sometimes seem to have no solution. All we get is politics. And here locally we’ve gone through a difficult season, still in the midst of it. Who knows when things will get back to “normal” for our community after the events of the last few months.
When we pass through season like this, we find ourselves in need of hope, thirsty for hope, thirsty for something that will breathe life into our spirits. So many people, who a year or two ago felt like they were on solid ground, find themselves in circumstances that they never saw coming, and those circumstances bring worry, stress, even fear as we wrestle with decisions made or missed.
I’m fairly certain that none of us so value our seasons of difficulty that we schedule them in, right? It’s not on my google calendar. I schedule vacations not hope-draining times. But when they do come, one of the benefits is the way they make us pause and ponder questions like, “What can I count on? How will I make it through? Where can I find
hope? Am I building my life on something solid enough to make it through times that quake my soul?
That’s why we’ve been taking the time to walk thru this “Come Thirsty” series at Calvary. We are trying to answer those questions. Where do I go when where I’ve been going isn’t working? What we are really looking for is hope. There’s something very powerful, very lifegiving about hope. (In fact even the Hunger Games points this out, did you catch that momentary conversation about hope from Snow?)
That’s why I love Easter, it overflows with hope. It’s like the tomb was opened and hope gushed out in a life-giving stream that transforms all it touches.
John Ortberg describes Easter hope this way…
There was a man named Jesus. He taught like nobody every taught. He lived like nobody ever lived. He loved like no one has ever loved. He especially had a heart for people who were on the margins (for the sick, for the sinners, for the forgotten poor, for the despised rich, for the disliked soldiers, for the excluded). On Friday, His great courage got Him arrested. His great love led Him to the cross. His great heart stopped beating. On Friday, that which looked like a horribly tragic ending to such a wonderful life turned out to be the greatest sacrifice of love in the history of our
On Saturday, there was a great silence, for the King was sleeping. Jesus entered into death and hell for you and me.
On Sunday, a stone got rolled away. On Sunday, death lost its sting. Grave lost its victory. On Sunday, hell was defeated. Death was dethroned. Darkness was derailed. The devil was de-motivated. On Sunday, the tomb was emptied and hope got fulfilled. On Sunday, faith was vindicated. The prophets were validated. The soldiers were aggravated. The disciples were animated. On Sunday, sin lost. Shame died. Hope soared. Love won.
On Sunday, you got something beyond yourself to live for, something beyond your life to die for, something beyond your death to hope in after you die. This is, therefore, the central proclamation of the greatest victory over the darkest enemy by the noblest hero for the loftiest cause in all of human history. If anything in this sorry, dark world is worthy of celebration, it is Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!