Dear People of God,
Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
We worship and serve the risen Lord! This is the powerful message and meaning of Easter – that Jesus Christ died for our sins, physically rose from the dead, and has given us new life! The Bible says “He (Jesus) died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
The resurrection of Jesus approximately 2000 years ago permanently changed the world. Whenever we write a date, we use his resurrection as the reference point. But more significantly, in rising from the dead, Christ defeated the enemy, atoned for our sins, and opened the door for us to have a personal relationship with God. Alleluia!
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proves that Jesus really was who he claimed to be – God in the flesh. He came down from heaven to redeem us and change us, and make us God’s children. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-4) We have a NEW LIFE through and in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
This new life means that we do not live for ourselves. We are made and have been redeemed to live for Jesus Christ, “who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” (1 Timothy 2:6) Because Jesus has died and rose again, conquering sin and death, we believe that with him and in him, we too shall live. The risen Jesus has made us a people of faith, a people of hope, a people of love, a people of power, a people of service and ministry – serving all in his name.
This is what it means to be believers – DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST. We can live and should live as Easter people! No one can pretend that this is an easy thing to do. There simply are too many temptations and distractions – not least from the evil one – to discourage and to lead us astray. On Good Friday the world of darkness had thrown everything it had on Jesus and buried Him in a tomb – thinking it had the final word. But God has the final word – always! God overturned the world’s verdict! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ rose from the tomb and conquered the power of darkness forever. Jesus Christ is triumphant! Alleluia!
In this spirit of faith and hope in the RISEN LORD JESUS, Julita joins me in wishing you and your loved ones a most holy and blessed Easter Season! Amen
The Rt Rev Datuk Danald Jute
Bishop of Kuching (Sarawak & Brunei Darussalam)