Life is hard. The truth of this is found in each person’s story and in the pages of every newspaper. Interpersonal conflict, financial difficulty, health concerns, disappointment and struggle accentuate the human story. However, there is good news. Easter is more than bunnies, colored eggs, and flowery decorations. Easter reminds us that Jesus’ death and resurrection is God’s ultimate victory over suffering, sickness, and death.
God not only knows about our pains, but experienced them directly in the person of Jesus the Christ who came, suffered, and died for us. God did this so that all people no matter what they have done or where they are from might know that they are called by God to experience a new life that connects with the life giving power of God both now and for an eternal future. Paul reflects on the human dilemma when he states that “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Rom 8:18).”
This doesn’t mean that those who are believers never experience hardship. It does mean that while we still suffer and die in this life, we are continually being drawn by the inner working of God toward a bright and undiminishing future. Again Paul reframes our struggles within the context of God’s actions, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).”
God’s hand of direction and provision continues to guide us through our sufferings, not because of our good outstanding moral character, but solely because of God’s amazing, abundant, and unconditional love for each of us. God’s love will not let you go. It pursues humanity to the very ends of the earth, to the depths of the grave, and the very gates of hell. There is no obstacle that can prevent God’s love from restoring his beloved creation. Paul summarizes it this way “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:37-39).”
Each of us receives the gifts of God’s victorious love through belief and turning to God. Indeed, the good news is that there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because God’s love has overcome the world. This Easter you are encouraged to receive this good news for yourself and to bring a friend with you to the Easter celebration on April 21st.