The entire planet is feeling the ache right now, but creation has been groaning under the weight of its curse since sin and death first invaded our world. COVID-19 may be new, but the weariness of this age is not. Still, the headlines tell us these times are unprecedented: Millions are in home quarantine. Restaurants, shops, and markets have been shuttered. Every major sports league has been benched. Local churches have moved their services online in the name of social distancing. It seems to me we need the good news of Resurrection Sunday more than ever.
For most of the people alive on planet earth that first Easter morning two thousand years ago, it was just an ordinary Sunday. Folks going about their lives in China, India, Spain, or Ethiopia would not have known that a new era had dawned, that the true King of Creation had just crushed the power of sin and death, and that the curse that had been twisted around this world was beginning to unravel.
According to Luke, the first to hear the news was a group of women who came to Jesus’s tomb early on Sunday morning. “He is not here, but he has risen!” the angels announced (Luke 24:6). And from there the news spread—to Peter and the other disciples (vv.9–11), then to two Jesus-followers on the road to Emmaus (vv.13–35), and then to more people still, including five hundred people on one occasion (1Corinthians 15:6). Those early Christians shared the good news, and it spread from person to person across the world. You and I are included in this great unbreakable chain that has weaved and wound its way across time and space, bringing the joy of the gospel to all who will receive it.
It strikes me that in these days of uncertainty, we need the certainty of the gospel more than ever. The good news of Jesus is not a get-out-of-hell-free card; it is so much more than that. It is a promise that this world will be made new—that every sad, jagged, and broken thing will one day be stilled.
When the stone was rolled away that first Resurrection Sunday morning, a new age began. But it wasn’t the dawn of a new epoch the way we often think of it. That is, there wasn’t a clean break with the old. God is actively rescuing people from the darkness, bringing them into His kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13; see also 1John 2:8–9). To do that, He has allowed the two ages to overlap, at least until Jesus returns.
On that day, the things that belong to the old world will be no more. Suffering and fear will be obliterated, along with the curse. Those who know Christ will awaken to a new morning where life will know no bounds and light will no longer meet darkness. The Bible tells us there will be tears, but it will be God Himself who wipes them from our cheeks (Revelation 21:4). This is our hope not only on Easter Sunday, but on each and every day we have breath in our lungs. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Written by John Greco