Like many, I woke up to the news that there had been deadly explosions in Brussels. Two at the airport. One at the metro station near the heart of the European Union. Isis have claimed responsibility. Another coordinated attack. Paris attacks come swiftly back to mind. Fear is trying to get a foothold. Its grip tightens as we take in more of the messages and repetition from the media.
Tonight, I am not going to let fear reign. Nor am I going to admit that my faith is rock solid at times like this. I struggle with the harsh reality of suffering, pain and loss just as much as my neighbour who has no faith in God whatsoever. I weep. I get angry. I don’t understand.
It seems that death and evil is everywhere. It is. But there is Someone greater than evil. Someone who defeated the sting of death. Someone who has won the victory against Satan. Someone who will bring justice and deal with the brutality of Isis. Someone who offers hope for all people if they repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World who loves sinners.
In the aftermath of the Brussels bombing, I see the greatest answer to this evil is found in Easter.
When Jesus Christ went to the cross His disciples must have thought the worst had come. This man that they believed to the be the Son of God was being crucified before their very eyes. He was mocked. His body was pierced. If only those who knew and loved Jesus as they saw Him on the cross understood exactly what God was doing at this point in time. They could look forward to the third day (Resurrection Day). Hindsight is a wonderful thing, right?
Jesus became death for all on that cross. He was sinless and blameless. Sent by God the Father to bring hope and healing to a broken world full of sin and death. Only the sacrifice of the perfect Son of God could redeem us.
Good Friday is Good News. Jesus Christ said ‘It is finished.’ In Greek it translates as ‘tetelestai’ meaning ‘paid in full’. Jesus paid the price on the cross. The price for our sin – the sin of the whole world – was paid in full and wiped clean forever. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. We are lost without Jesus because we are separated from a holy God. It is because of Jesus that we have been reconciled to God.
Easter Sunday is the proof that Jesus is alive. Eyewitnesses recorded it. He was back on the earth for 40 days after He died.
After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3
The resurrection is the hope that we have. We can have confidence knowing that Christ has defeated the grave. God is sovereign over death. We will be resurrected to new life because of Christ. Death on this earth is not the end for those that believe in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. For those who fear death, there is confidence and hope found in Easter Sunday. It is the greatest hope we have against evil.
Jesus Christ is the answer to defeating terrorism. Where terrorists seek to kill, destroy, coerce, torture and incite fear and hatred, Jesus loves abundantly, gives mercy, pours out grace, welcomes, is patient and kind and gives Himself fully to us. We are given a new life in Him. We may experience illness, suffering and death, but God gave Himself so we can live this life in full assurance that He is with us, He is for us, He will never leave us and He promises us a life with Him forever. Death where is your sting?
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39