New Times, Same Easter

Our world feels different. We’re isolated from loved ones. We’re trying to simultaneously work from home and parent our kids. Healthcare workers are conserving cleaning supplies and praying for more protective gear.

COVID-19 did that. It came for us all. Nothing will ever be the same.

Except Easter.

We may not be able to go to church, but we can go virtually.

The voluminous and energetic egg hunt may not exist, but a more personal and intimate family scavenger hunt can be created.

And Easter dinner…well…we’ll always be able to fill our bellies with something nice. Maybe it’s not grandma’s pot roast but maybe we’ll change it to a big bowl of spaghetti with extra garlic toast or some ribeye steaks on the grill and a sweet potato with extra marshmallows.

Our world is different. It’s a new time. But Easter is the same.

When we look back at the Easter story from over 2,000 years ago, maybe it’ll give our ever changing world a sense of comfort and stability.

If we look at Luke 23:44-46 (NIV), we see a powerful but solemn death of Jesus Christ on the cross. “It was now about noon, and the darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.”

Doesn’t it feel like the coronavirus has covered our whole land with darkness? Hasn’t it felt like sometimes the sun isn’t shining anymore? And that we’re surrounded by death?

His body was then wrapped in linen and carried him to a tomb.

“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” Luke 24-2-6a NIV.

But did you know that Jesus’s disciples and his mother were NOT the only witnesses to this resurrection?

Did you know that after he was seen by the women who went to his tomb and his disciples, he appeared to 500 witnesses? 1 Corinthians 15:6 NIV.

What does it take for someone to believe something? How many witnesses, interactions, medical cases, or words of mouth does it take?

Let’s look at some COVID-19 numbers: In Cumberland County (NC), we currently have 72 cases. In Wake County, a county nearby with many more cases, they have 371. That’s only 443 cases. And we’re a month into the pandemic. Those are less medical cases after a month of exposure than in ONE DAY of witnessing Jesus’s resurrection. That makes one day of 500 eye witness testimonies pretty compelling. And you know that those 500 people told everyone around them about what they saw!

We celebrate his death and resurrection (Easter) and we rejoice and share his story because “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” Romans 6:9-10.

A man died and came back to life! It was a new time, a new world! And today, during a time of quarantine, loneliness, illness, and death, we are reminded that Christ also died but came back to life. We are reminded that this is a new world for us with the same Easter story from over 2,000 years ago.

We are reminded that not even death could stop Jesus.

Don’t let COVID-19 take away your Easter. Don’t let this pandemic leave a cloud of gloom over your household.

Instead, rejoice! Because our Lord and savior created a new world over 2,000 years ago and is still creating one today! Rejoice! Because He is risen!

Rejoice! Because with a new world in a new time, we have the same Easter story.

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