The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
Please read Colossians 2 v13-15 I would like you today to focus on these words: “having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross”
Easter is bigger than the coronavirus!
How can this be so when there is so much upheaval? Never the less, I want to declare that the resurrection of Christ, is bigger than this or any other crisis. Howcome? It is not my claim – it is the claim of God in the Bible. The Risen Christ (Rev 21 v5) says “I am making everything new” and it starts with resurrection! Fear is real and, biblically, fear entered the world in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Having disobeyed God, Adam and Eve become afraid of God. When God came looking for them, they were hiding and he asked what they were up to. Adam says “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid” (Gen 3 v10). But that’s only half the story! Later in Gen 3 there is a promise that the serpent, who tempted Adam and Eve, will be crushed and defeated by the woman’s offspring ‘he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’
This is the Bible’s way of showing how fear arises from the collapse of our relationship with God. Yet, in God’s heart there is a solution. The descendant of Eve (i.e. Jesus) will win out by ‘crushing the head’ of the enemy even as the enemy ‘strikes his heel’. This happens in the drama of the cross!
The Cross of Jesus
The cross is not a good look! Crosses are commonly worn as jewellery or perhaps a tattoo. But the cross is a horrible instrument of death and torture. From the perspective of Good Friday, it was the worst possible outcome for Jesus’ followers. They had put all their hope in Him and there he was – nailed to a Roman cross and bleeding and dying. Strikingly, Paul says that the cross was the battleground on which Jesus took on all the fear and darkness and evil, and ultimately, in a high risk act
DISARMED THE ENEMY (Col 2 v15)
In November 2019 Usman Khan attacked a prison reform conference in London. Two people were killed before others, risking their lives, overcame him and disarmed him. Jesus did something similar – taking on death and the devil on their home ground. It cost the eternal Son of God His life! Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus joyfully. A sure sign from God to the world that death has been defeated – but that the victory began on the cross as Jesus gave his life disarming the enemy! Victory through suffering. On Easter Sunday we celebrate the victory, the breakthrough of resurrection. At the start of this message I quoted the risen Jesus who said (Rev 21 v5) ‘I am making all things new’ and biblical Christian thinking insists that the day of resurrection is the turning point! The die is cast – nothing can turn back the tide of all things being made new! The victory came at the cost of Jesus’ suffering and becomes a model for Christian service. Why was the cross necessary? Paul says it was because of “the record of debt that stood against us and condemned us” (v14). Wouldn’t it be scary if other people could get into our minds and read all our deepest, darkest secrets? Well, the good news is that God does know us fully – even our worst traits and darkest thoughts. Gloriously He stands ready to forgive and renew us right now as part of His plan to ‘make all things new’.
Pray with me:
“Lord, this Easter as we find ourselves in this current health crisis, help us to face it with faith and courage. We believe that, on the cross, Jesus defeated the devil our enemy and disarmed him. We believe that Jesus rose again from the dead, and promises to make all things new. Jesus, please make me new today as I come to You in faith. I know the things in my life that need forgiving and being made new. Please forgive me because of all you accomplished through the cross. I now give myself to follow you, empowered by your Holy Spirit to be your hands, your feet, and your voice in the world. Come, Lord Jesus. Come and make all things new. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen