I greet you in the name of our Crucified and Risen Lord, Jesus Christ on this special day as we proclaim with Christians throughout the word; “The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed. Hallelujah”.
The past week Christians reflected on Jesus’ march on Jerusalem that ended in the crucifixion. We were further shocked and horrified by the cowardly acts of terror inflicted on innocent civilians in Corte d’Ivoire, Turkey and Belgium. People all around the world expressed collective solidarity and grief with the victims of these ghastly deeds. As on Good Friday for many it seemed as if hope died but death could not hold Jesus.
The story of Jesus would have been nothing more than an occasional point of reference of an inspirational teacher, a charismatic figure or a martyr if it had simply ended with the crucifixion, but Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave on the third day. For this reason, we are the people of the resurrection and can affirm with Christians throughout the centuries that; “God Raised Jesus from the Dead”.
The Easter message is about the unlimited, boundless grace, victory, joy and renewed hope for believers. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, death is described as, “The road from which no traveller has ever returned”. (Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1) He was wrong because one did return, and his name is Jesus, the Christ. It is in His name that we gather today as an Easter people, a people of Hope. With Easter, we look at death and the grave differently, and words like hopelessness and impossible loose its meaning.
Easter functions as a divine proclamation and a decisive victory over the evil forces of sin and death. Therefore, we can look with confidence towards the future with God.
As a people of hope, we live in the shadow cast by the resurrection and everything should be interpreted in the light of this event.
World Methodist Council