IT’S ALL ABOUT HOPE
Why do you think more people attend the church of their choice on Easter Sunday than any other weekend of the year? Why do people who hardly ever darken the doors of a church decide on this one Sunday that they are going to make an appearance?
It could be that they are going for a family member, their wife, their mother, their brother or sister. It could be that they are going to try to impress somebody. They might go to church to show off their new Sunday best that they might only wear one time this year. I’m hoping these aren’t the reasons they have chosen to go to church this Sunday.
It is my sincere belief that the reason more people show up on Easter Sunday is because they are looking for hope. Our world is filled with hopeless situations. Some people have no hope that they will get a good job that will meet their families need. Others have no hope that their children will turn out well. For many this Easter they are facing illness themselves or with a family member who doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
Hope, that’s what Easter is all about. It’s not about the bunnies, baskets or spring flowers. It’s not about egg hunts and how precious our children or grandchildren might be. It’s not about trying to impress someone. For the pastors and church staff, it’s not about how big your crowd is this year as opposed to last Easter. It’s all about hope.
The disciples of Jesus, these twelve men, who became eleven after Judas betrayed Jesus had left all that they had to follow Jesus. They left their jobs, their families, their homes and forsook all to follow Him. They watched their Lord and Savior get arrested, beaten and crucified. All that they thought would happen vanished in just 24 hours. The disciples on the road to Emmaus said, “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Luke 24:21
What the disciples didn’t understand was that Jesus purpose in coming to earth wasn’t about the here and now, it was about eternity. They wanted a religious leader who would also overthrow the Roman government and deliver them from oppression. Much of what people are hoping for in this world is simply that, of this world. What we hope for in this world will not last. The hope that Jesus promises is not of this world, it is a hope which is eternal.
The Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:16-20, “For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile (worthless) and you are yet in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable, but Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.”
The old familiar hymn says it well, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
The question you need to answer this Easter is not whether or not you will show up at church but whether you have made your reservation for heaven. In John chapter 14 Jesus shares the only way anyone can be sure of heaven. “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you.” He then told them “where I am going you know, but Thomas said, “Lord we don’t know where you are going and how can we know the way.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father except by me.” If you want to go to heaven and be in the presence of God forever you must go through Jesus. He is the only one who can give you eternal life. Place your faith in Jesus Christ this Easter and you will have the greatest hope you can ever have. I’d love to help you find this hope, come join us this Sunday at 10:00 am at Calvary Baptist, 1015 W. 16th St. or online at www.calvarybaptistsedalia.org.