We awoke this morning to a beautiful snowfall. Snow is lovely while it’s falling and it makes the trees and the fields around us pure white. In one way, it covers up some ugly stuff, but underneath, nothing much has changed.
That’s where the “Easter” part of this post becomes important. If Christ is really risen from the dead, things have changed. If what we say in the apostle’s creed is true – he was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead – then something fundamental, mysterious, amazing has changed. As long as men have walked the earth, death has been the inescapable fate of all. Not only have we been cursed to wither and die physically, but we have been alienated from the only source of real life. We’re twice dead – outwardly and inwardly.
The resurrection changes all of that. Jesus experienced both kinds of death, and yet he lives. And he promises that we will also live. “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” If you do believe this, you have been changed, way down deep inside – not with a pretty covering, but by a gift of life that cannot be extinguished, even by death.
“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”