Easter Message 2016
“If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1).
Good Friday brings to a climax the story of the incredible humiliation of God. The divine one, who left the heavenly home and became a human being in Jesus Christ, suffered the ignominy of death by crucifixion. Impaled upon a cross, he revealed to us the depth of our sinfulness and the extent to which God will go for the sake of our salvation.
The crucified one was laid in a place of burial. Three days later, he rose from the dead, providing the foundation for our courageous life and our confident hope. God raised from the chaos of death the one who faced the utter desolation of abandonment. And God did this on behalf of humanity and all creation.
Easter is a metaphor for the destruction of the power of death and a sign of new birth, new life and new possibilities. It provides us with a reminder of God’s way of lifting up the fallen, liberating the oppressed and giving peace to the weary.
It is by no means surprising that, from the earliest years, Easter day was a time for baptism. Those who are immersed into Christ are buried with him in the waters of baptism and are raised up with him to a new realm. Led from the baptismal grave, they see things in a new light; they discern from a new perspective; their encounter with God’s grace leads them to life in a new dimension.
The baptismal life we are called to live involves a cycle of dying and rising with Christ. We know the depth of pain that is part and parcel of our earthly environment and we know the heights of grace that we can see only with resurrection eyes. For us, God makes all things new.
When evil has done its worse, God’s power and love remain a bulwark against hopelessness. We set our sights on high and then, the things of the world lose both their allure and their sting. We are empowered by courageous faith because, risen with Christ, the life that is now within us is the eternal life that nothing in the world can destroy.
Baptist World Alliance