He is Risen!
Few phrases pack as much power, mystery, and hope as that. This triumphant, history-altering, life-changing truth will be celebrated once again this Easter by millions upon millions of people all over the world.
Christ has risen. What does it mean for us in 2021? In our COVID-weary, stressed-out, hyper-tense, constantly-fighting, just-trying-to-make-it-through-the-day, exhausted and broken world … what does it mean for us today?
We are loved.
he cross of Christ leaves no room for doubt about God’s love for you. At our worst, God gave us His best—His Son. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV).
God showed His love for you in Christ. It can’t be undone. And His love for you is not hesitant or begrudging—He doesn’t regret it. He loves you freely and willingly. The Bible says it’s what God wants to do.
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:4–5 NLT).
We’re not alone.
We’re often tempted to think that God has abandoned us or that He doesn’t care about our struggles and pain. In a time when so many people are suffering, grieving, and isolated – we need to be reminded that Jesus is “a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (Isaiah 53:3 NLT).
Jesus knows physical pain, as He endured the cross. He knows emotional pain, as He was betrayed, mocked, and insulted. And He knows the pain of isolation – abandoned by His disciples and crying out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus knows your pain – and as the Risen Lord, He is with you in it.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
We can rest.
In a time of ever-increasing exhaustion, constant stress, and world-weariness, Jesus offers us rest.
His final words on the cross were “It is finished” (John 19:30). Everything needed for you to experience peace with God and have eternal life … is accomplished. Salvation is a gift from God – it’s not based on what we do for God, but on what Jesus did for us.
He is risen means we don’t need to strive harder or do better or wait for something else to happen first. You just need to come to Him – as you are. Jesus invites us …
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
We can be hopeful.
He is risen is a declaration of hope. It means death doesn’t have the final word. Sin and suffering don’t have the final word. Politics and pandemics don’t have the final word. Jesus does. He is the Risen Lord.
Jesus “loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope” (2 Thessalonians 2:16 NLT). Eternal comfort. Wonderful hope. That’s what we have in Christ.
While we pray to return to some sense of normalcy, that’s not where our ultimate hope lies. Our hope is not in returning to normal life but in turning to God who gives us eternal life. He is risen means we have a hope beyond the grave, a hope beyond our circumstances and the headlines of the day, a hope beyond our feelings and fears, beyond our doubts and discouragement – a hope that keeps us steady through the storms.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19).
We can keep going.
After He was betrayed and abandoned by His disciples, Jesus kept going. After He was arrested, sentenced to die, and beaten, Jesus kept going. After He fell down carrying His cross, Jesus kept going. After He was crucified … after He died and was buried – Jesus kept going.
In Christ, we have a love that endures, a hope that perseveres, and a power that keeps us going. Even in these troubling, confusing, difficult times – when you just want to give up and call it quits – we can keep going because Jesus keeps us going.
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2 NKJV).
To The End
The Bible says that Jesus “loved them to the very end” (John 13:1 NLT).
He is risen – this truth proves that Jesus will love us to the end. Through it all. Through all our ups and downs, every worry and fear, every sin and moment of suffering. Even now, God hasn’t stopped loving you. He hasn’t given up on you – or anyone. He’s still at work. And He is with you each day, every day, even today – to the end.
“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20 NLT)
Dustin Anderson, Th.M.
Lead Writer, Hope for the Heart