By Pastor Johnny H. Moore
Family Worship Center
Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and everything is turning green again. Spring has arrived, and with it comes new life, new growth and, eventually, new fruit. I love this time of year, mainly because it reminds me that the past is gone, and new opportunities are on the horizon.
Something about this time of year gives me a new and fresh vision of what could be. It makes me want to get up early and stay up late. Why would I want to sleep my life away? There are just so many possibilities at hand that I want to get up, get out and discover them, find them, and take advantage of them.
But, this year is different. I’m still feeling the excitement, the energy, and the expectation that Spring brings, but there is only one problem . . . there is a virus – the Coronavirus – sweeping our land. It has everybody on lockdown, quarantined for the safety of ourselves, our families and our fellowman. Businesses have closed, workers have gone home, we now have a statewide curfew, a shelter-in-place order, and social distancing.
Hospitals are full, grocery store shelves are empty, people are afraid and discouraged, families are separated, no large gatherings, no funerals, no school, no graduation, no baseball and, on top of all this, all of the churches are closed!
Never in my lifetime have I ever witnessed anything like this. Everybody is filled with questions, but answers are hard to come by. “What do we do?” “How do we function?” “How long can we sustain this?” “When will this end?”
Well, I have an idea!! Why don’t we take a time-out and “Celebrate Easter”?
This week is known as Holy Week. It’s the week leading up to Easter. Easter is the time when we celebrate the death, burial and, most importantly, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth to pay the price for sin and to redeem fallen man from the curse of death. In doing so, He became sin for us – He took our sin, He bore our sin, and then died on the cross. After He died, He was placed in a borrowed tomb, a stone was rolled in front of the tomb, and guards were placed there to ensure that no one stole His body. He descended into the lower parts of the earth, where He took the keys of death, hell, and the grave, and then rose again triumphantly. Matthew writes his account of the story in chapter 28, when some women arrive at the tomb to grieve His death, “Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
They came discouraged and filled with grief, but they left excited and filled with hope about the fact that Jesus was alive! The scriptures also tell us that He ascended to the right hand of God where He ever lives to make intercession for us. Jesus is alive today!! But, not only is He alive, He is actually praying, interceding for you and me at this very moment!
Yes, we are in the midst of difficult times, but we must never forget that Jesus is alive!
The Gospel of John tells us, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12 NLT). There is hope for you today, and that
hope is in Jesus Christ! All it takes is for you to believe that Jesus died for you, and that He rose again, just for you. If you believe that, then all you have to do is to simply ask Him to come into your heart and become your Savior.
Why don’t you take a minute right now and do that! Just pray this simple prayer out loud: “Jesus, I come to you today to say thank you for loving me just like I am. I believe that you died for me, and I believe that you rose again just for me. I ask you to come into my heart right now and become my Savior and the Lord of my life. Please forgive me of all my sin, and make me your child. I pray this right now in Jesus’ Name!”
Now that you are a child of God, you have hope! God will give you peace! He will never leave you or forsake you! This is what Easter is all about! God is going to turn this crisis around. Today, you may be facing what appears to be a cross. But, remember, on the other side of the cross is a resurrection! It may look like midnight where you are, but the sun will come up in the morning! Don’t despair! Put your hope in our risen Savior! Join me this weekend, and “Let’s Celebrate Easter!”