an-as’-tas-is | A recovery from a debilitating condition, especially irradiation of human tissue; rebirth; (Christianity) resurrection, especially the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Yesterday, millions all over the globe gathered together to remember and celebrate the most glorious event to ever occur in all of history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.
While most sang songs, said prayers, and read the resurrection account in hopeful anticipation of meeting their Savior face to face, many in Sri Lanka were given the chance to experience this reality firsthand.
News of the church and hotel bombings came to us before the start of our service yesterday morning. While our hearts mourn with the people of Sri Lanka, we also rejoice in knowing that those victims who placed their faith in Christ were reunited with their Savior this Easter Sunday.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted… “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. | Matthew 5:4, 10
Even in 2019, Christians are still being persecuted. In the same way, we constantly witness discrimination and prejudice against so many in society. Whatever differences we may have with people from other faith and life backgrounds, one thing remains constant:
Jesus offers friendship, forgiveness, love, salvation, and blessing to ALL – to every single human to walk this earth.
He demonstrates this through His death and achieves it – p e r m a n e n t l y – through His resurrection.
This is what Easter is all about – not parades and bunnies and egg hunts and candy. It’s not about ancient buildings or beautiful cathedrals or about abstaining from meat or about “giving something up” for 40 days. Easter is bigger than our desires and our diets. It’s about the work of the Cross and all that was accomplished through it.
Yesterday, we sang “O Praise the Name (Anástasis)” by Hillsong:
The lines that captured my mind are below:
Then on the third at break of dawn,
The Son of heaven rose again.
O trampled death where is your sting?
The angels roar for Christ the King
Can you imagine what heaven must have been like that moment when Jesus rose from the grave? Can you imagine the roar of the angels to see Christ risen, victorious over death? How incredible it must have been!
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” | Luke 15:10
Such rejoicing takes place when one soul comes to accept Christ as Savior. Without the resurrection, this could not occur. And if such rejoicing as this takes place when one sinner repents, imagine how much rejoicing took place for the reason for our repenting!
Anástasis – “a recovery from a debilitating condition.”
Friends, what condition is more debilitating
than sin and the death it brings?
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. | Ephesians 2:4-10
O praise the name of the Lord our God
O praise His name forever more
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord, oh Lord our God