Easter Sunday

Gospels: Matthew 28:1-20 or Mark 16:1-20 or Luke 24:1-53 or John 20 & 21;

Old Testament: Exodus 14:1-15:21; Ezekiel 37:1-14;

New Testament Letters: Romans 6:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; Colossians 3:1-4;

Psalms: 42, 110, 114 & 118

The Beginning of the New World

We’ve finally arrived at the end … well, really the beginning.  Here in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior is the greatest event thus far to happen since the creation of the world.  We may say that it was for this event that the world and mankind were created.  Even our Lord’s passion is meaningless if Christ be not raised (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).  It is the resurrection of Christ that brought life out of death and heaven out of hell.  We might even say that through the resurrection, the whole world has been turned inside-out.  Death has been killed, sinners have become saints, and life has been declared from the throne of God over all creation, for even creation itself shall one day be set free from its bondage to decay (Romans 8:19-22).  The resurrection of Christ has set the old world on its head and brought about a brand new world.

A brand new world.  The Apostle Paul said it best: “For the present form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31).  We are even passing away, at least as far as our “old nature” is concerned, which is why Paul can say, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  And again, “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).  Yes, it all looks the same so much of the time.  And everything seems so permanent.  But we know it isn’t.  We are like the grass of the field.  And according to Peter, “The heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire” (2 Peter 3:7).  And Revelation 21 speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, not a completely different creation from the first, but, like us, finally transformed, into what the world would have been had we never sinned in the first place – and even better than that, for redemption is always better than innocence.

The resurrection of Christ has begun the transformation of both the world and us.  It was what we all were waiting for, even though we didn’t know it.  The next great event is the consummation of that transformation, so beautifully depicted at the end of the Book of Revelation.  Indeed, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV).

The first time he came, we had to change the calendar – anno domini (A.D.) – “in the year of the Lord.”  And for the last two thousand years, we have lived in this time, this opportunity, of salvation.  The next time he comes, we’ll have to change the calendar again or scrap it altogether.  We live in a wonderful day of anticipation: The return of our Lord and the fulfillment of the Kingdom.  Happy Easter!

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