Easter 2020 Sermon (short, chopped, mini version) – New Birth Into a Living Hope

The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is “Holy Saturday:” the day Jesus was sealed in the tomb, dead.  It’s the day the disciples hid: isolated, afraid, behind closed doors, not knowing what to do next.  Holy Saturday lies between the horror of Good Friday and the joy of Easter Sunday.  That first Holy Saturday must have been a long, dark day of shock, isolation, fear, and deep disappointment.

To me, these weeks of “social distancing” have felt like a prolonged Holy Saturday.  How can we celebrate Easter, when it feels more like Holy Saturday?

At times like this, we must remember, we’re Easter people!  Easter is every Sunday – in the best of times, and the worst of times.

Theologically and spiritually, Easter really isn’t the day of celebration.  Easter is about one essential truth: Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!  That’s the truth of Easter, and it’s true every day, in every situation, in every circumstance!

The Apostle Peter writes, “(We have) an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:4 CEB)  That is our truth!

Peter also writes, “(We) are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials.” (1 Peter 1:5-6 CEB)

Peter was likely referring to some form of persecution.  We’re not being persecuted.  But, undeniably, we’re enduring a trial, unlike any I’ve ever experienced.  These are scary, disconcerting times.  To that fear and uncertainty, Peter recalls power of the Resurrection!

I think the word for this Easter is HOPE!  Peter wrote, “By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3 CEB)

“New birth into a living hope.”  Those are exceptionally powerful words

Hope is future oriented.  Whatever our current circumstances are, hope is for something different, better, in the future.  We need hope, especially now!

Why do we hope?  Because we’ve been given “New birth into a living hope.”  Because Jesus Christ died, and rose again!

I’ll simple leave you with this.  If we believe in God; if we believe God is good; if we believe God came to us, in Jesus Christ; if we believe Jesus died and rose again, conquering sin and death, permanently opening the gates of heaven and eternal life; then, God can certainly handle this! God can handle coronavirus!

We can hope, even now!  After all, it’s Easter, and we’re Easter people!

 

 

 

 

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