Fruitful Life @ Trinity
Easter in Pandemic - Do not be afraid, Matthew 28:1–10, Easter Sunday A
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  • Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
  • The Day of Resurrection!
      • Psalm 118:1–2NRSV

      • Psalm 118:14–24NRSV

      • Matthew 28:1–10NRSV

  • He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
    The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the frailty of life and the uncertainty of this world. We were at the peak of the economy with the highest stock market growth and the lowest unemployment rate in recent history, but overnight the world turned upside down.
    The pandemic does not only kill many people, but also drives the entire world crazy. We must not only protect ourselves and others from this deadly disease, but also defend our minds from getting harmed because as long as our mind is strong and healthy, we can face the tough times with the right attitudes.
    This morning I will share with you a six-piece suit of armor from EASTER that can protect your mind from the invisible enemy that drives you insane.
    First, this pandemic makes us think deeply about how fragile life could be. No matter how much we have accomplished in science and technology, the reality is we still live in a fallen world.
    We will overcome the pandemic for sure sooner or later, but we must overcome the deeper problem that keeps us trapped in this cycle of suffering—that is the deadly disease of sin. All human attempts to save themselves through religion, philosophy, and science have failed.
    However, the wisest men and women past and present know we need a redeemer.
    The good news is God knows our plight and He has reached out to us to save us from this sea of suffering. Easter is the greatest gift to humanity because it states that death can no longer entrap us, and sin can no longer enslave us.
    However, for many people the resurrection of Christ is inconceivable because it’s scientifically impossible to prove.
    BBC published a survey a couple of years ago showing that a quarter of Christians in Great Britain don’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rasmussen Poll also reported that only three quarters of Christians in the United States believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, it’s about the same percentage wise.
    I have a very simple way to prove to myself that the resurrection did happen. It is the common calendar we use all over the world. Today is April 12, 2020. It indicates that it has been about 2020 years from the time of Jesus Christ. If resurrection did not happen, who cares about a poor rabbi from an obscure town of Nazareth, who was crucified as a criminal at the age of 33?
    Only some earthshattering event could put him at the center of human history. That is his resurrection. Easter divided human history into two parts—BC and AD, or to be politically correct BCE and CE. Whichever you use, it still put an indelible mark in human history based on what happened on Easter.
    There is no other single event that has made so huge an impact in history as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Nothing even comes close.
    So, every time I look at the calendar, I see the miracle, and I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    Every time you put down your signature, you make a reference to his resurrection with a date next to your signature, whether you believe in him or not. It’s a “You can run but you can’t hide” situation.
    Some people might ask, “What does this big event in history mean to me then? What’s in it for me especially in this difficult time of pandemic?”
    There are six pieces of armor that you can claim from Easter to help you cope with the stress and anxiety of this trying time. It’s a gift for you if you from God. Using the word “EASTER” as an acrostic, here are a brief description of these gifts:

    Eternity

    E is for Eternity.
    Resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us a glimpse of eternity. You will not see the world the same again when you claimed this gift. A hundred years on earth becomes extremely short through the lens of eternity. All the complaints about life becomes trivial. All the bickering and fights in our society become vanity. All the stress and suffering of life becomes insignificant.
    It also means that your actions could have eternal impact because life just doesn’t end here and now. The Bible says,
    For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16).
    It’s a stress reliever when you look at life from the eternal perspective. This gift will help you cope with the pandemic much easier. So, claim this gift!

    Advantage

    A is for Advantage.
    In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” (Gal 3:26).
    There is a big advantage of belonging to a family of 2.2 billion members around the world. Wherever you travel around the world, you will always find some brothers or sisters providing you with help and hospitality.
    I have a few incidents in my life when I got stuck in a foreign country. There were always some Christians who lent me a helping hand like a brother or sister of my own.
    Today, even when you are confined to your home you know you are in the communion of the saints. That means you are spiritually connected to 2 billion believers around the world, even though you are physically separated.
    Most importantly, you will never feel lonely because at least you have the Creator of the universe as your personal companion at all time. You have an unfair advantage as a child of God, a prince or princess of the King of the universe.
    So, claim this gift of Advantage because it’s a big stress reliever to know that you are part of the eternal kingdom of God. You may be alone, but you will never be lonely. It gives you a sense of assurance and certainty in this uncertain world.

    Surprises

    S is for Surpises.
    Human beings are made to enjoy surprises. Your life needs certainty to feel secure, but it also needs some variety to add some flavors to it. Sometimes we need some surprises to have fun.
    Children love surprises, don’t they? Have you ever played hide-and-seek with little children? Or peekaboo? It’s a lot of fun, isn’t it?
    Many adults have lost that sense of expectation. We become negative and cynical after beaten over and over by the storms of suffering.
    Our faith in Easter resurrects our childlike expectation for surprises. Jesus said unless we are like children, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Having positive expectation is one of mental attitude of a child.
    Easter is all about surprises. Mary Magdalene was surprised to see Jesus and embraced his feet. The Bible said,
    Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.” (Matthew 28:9).
    The disciples were totally surprised to see their teacher again.
    Being part of the Easter family means you will encounter many pleasant surprises and miracles beyond your imagination, including many blessings in disguise.
    Claim this gift of surprises as part of your armor and develop a positive mental attitude.

    Transformation

    T is for Transformation.
    Easter did not just end with surprises. It is life-transforming. God loves you the way you are, but God loves you too much to leave you the way you are. He saves you and sanctifies you—he turns you into a saint.
    The disciples, who behaved like cowards hiding from the scene of crucifixion, were transformed into heroes that risked their lives to spread the good news of Easter. Their transformation is also a strong evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No one will risk their lives for a lie.
    The Bible says,
    So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Co 5:17).
    When you claim this gift, you will have a new life, transformed from the state of a victim to a victor. No stress will overcome you because your ego is crucified with Christ and you are living an egoless life. A scientific research has shown that an egoless person is not affected by stress.

    Empowerment

    E is for Empowerment.
    Not only your life will be transformed when you belong to the people of Easter, you will be empowered to transform the world around you. There are many problems around us that you might feel powerless to do anything about, but Easter promised a gift of power to those who claim it. Paul said,
    I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Php 4:13).
    Recent statistics show that 90% of the doctor’s visit are for stress related problems. Can you believe that. Our world is overcome by a new oppressor called Stress. You are empowered to make a difference in this world by delivering the good news to set people free.
    In fact, when you have a calling, a life mission, you are less likely to be stressed out because your focus is not on yourself, but on a higher calling. You are empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill your higher calling.

    Reunion

    Lastly, R is for Reunion.
    One of the sources of stress and suffering of life is separation. We separate because of broken relationships. We separate because of death. We separate because of misunderstanding. Now, we separate to prevent ourselves from the disease.
    However, because of Easter, we will all be reconciled and reunited in the presence of God and live happily ever after. The Bible says,
    He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:4).
    Claiming this gift will relief all our separation anxiety. Knowing that all relationships will be reconciled one day is a big stress reliever. On the day of reunion, love has overcome hatred, peace has overcome violence, and joy has overcome misery. The former things have passed away.
    Jesus Christ has paid a great price to make this happen. He gave his life to redeem us from the enslavement of sin. So, receive him as your Lord and Savior you will get all these six gifts of Easter that you can use them as your suit of armor for the tough time.
    For those who have already believed, let us remember these six gifts of Easter to help us cope with the challenges of this time.
    May God bless you all!
    He is risen! He is risen, in deed!
      • John 3:16NRSV

      • Galatians 3:26NRSV

      • Matthew 28:9NRSV

      • 2 Corinthians 5:17NRSV

      • Philippians 4:13NRSV

      • Revelation 21:4NRSV

  • Crown Him with Many Crowns
  • Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise

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