4 Resurrection Reminders in a Global Pandemic
This month’s blog was written by one of our 4/14 Africa leaders, Pastor Julius Rwotlonyo, Associate Team Leader at Watoto Church in Uganda.
Easter presents us with the opportunity to reflect on the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. This month marks one year since the global pandemic began. Easter 2020 was unprecedented, with churches being forced to close their doors as part of government regulations due to COVID-19. A year is gone and whether it has been the news showcasing the state of economies, pandemic related death and loss, political upheaval and unrest, social injustice and mental health, we have been reminded of the present state of worry, anxiety, hopelessness and defeat among both believers and unbelievers within our current cultural moment.
This Easter, despite all that is presently going on around us, we are invited to remember the power of the resurrection. Paul in Philippians 3:10 expressed his desire to know Christ and recognised that the resurrection had power attached to it. “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
In increasingly unprecedented times, we need to be reminded that Jesus’ resurrection is still as powerful now as it was over 2000 years ago. Here are three resurrection reminders to reflect on this Easter season:
- The penalty for our sin was totally paid in full
COVID-19 has brought so much pain in the past year but it still cannot compare to the pain that sin brings to mankind. Sin separates man from God, hurts our relationships and brings all kinds of evil behaviour that result in pain. Sin ultimately leads to God’s judgement.
Whereas we could practice health guidelines to manage the pandemic, the sin problem has no human or medical solutions. It was only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that the penalty for our sin was paid in full.
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins..
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
2. Death is defeated
One of the dominant news reports during this pandemic was the number of those affected and the number of those that died. The reality in life is that anything that could result in death tends to create a lot of fear in people’s hearts. But for a child of God, death is not final. Death was defeated by the resurrection of Jesus.
Death is swallowed up in victory.
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15: 55:-57
3. We have an eternal hope and future
For those of us who are believers, we are reminded that life on earth is temporary and so are our bodies. We do experience suffering like everybody else and even our bodies get tired and sick but the resurrection of Jesus reassures us that one day, we will also be made brand new and we shall inherit his eternal kingdom where there will be no more death, pain or suffering.
I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:50–53
These are still very challenging times we are living in for the church but I encourage you with this scripture passage;
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
For pastors and fellow ministers, this is the time that our congregations and the community at large needs us the most.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58