I think we’re all starting to realize things aren’t just going to “snap back” to normal. Nobody knows exactly how long this crisis will last, or how the post-pandemic future will play out. Before, it was easy to distract ourselves from the weighty matters of life and death. But it’s not as easy now. For some of us, we’ve experienced the death of hopes and dreams this year. For others, it’s been an acute first-hand loss, grieving friends and family members who have died. Creation is groaning, yearning for redemption and in need of hope.
One thing is certain. Perry taught last week on Palm Sunday that Jesus’ death and resurrection is historical fact. You don’t have to turn off your brain to believe in the resurrection – the evidence is compelling. It happened in real space and time.
And yet, Christianity has to be more than just a set of historical details. Academic belief in facts alone won’t save us. Think about it – if you don’t believe the facts of the resurrection, you’re left with only an idea, an example to follow. If Jesus is still dead, you can’t actually talk to him, he can’t talk to you, and he’s not a real force that can supernaturally intervene in your life. It’s also possible to believe the historical facts and not understand the power of the resurrection. You can believe it as fact but not know it as an experience. Either way, what you’re left with is a form of religion without power or hope.
True hope will get us through these times of uncertainty. The beginning of that hope is found in two big words – forgiveness and justification – central to the work Jesus accomplished for us. We’re going to gather on April 2 for our Good Friday service to contemplate this.
But forgiveness and justification are just a path on the road to hope. Our ultimate hope is in knowing Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3 that his passion was to know Jesus, to know – to experience – the power of his resurrection. Hope is found in knowing Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection. Knowing that the same divine presence that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in you.
Let’s gather together on Easter Sunday to immerse ourselves not just in the facts but the person of Jesus. He’s alive, we can know him personally, and we can experience the power of his resurrection.
– Travis Swan
Easter Week Services
April 2, 6 p.m.
The nursery will be open for Good Friday (self service,
no volunteers) with the livestream of the service.
April 4, 9:30 a.m.
April 11, 9:30 a.m.