Easter Cannot Be Eclipsed
If you know me very well then you know I am a huge fan and appreciator of Andrew Peterson’s work. This morning my family and I were reading Scripture together in Romans 6 and I was reminded of Andrew’s song, “His Heart Beats” from his Resurrection Letters album. In the last verse of the song he writes, “His heart beats, He will never die again. I know that death no longer has dominion over him. So my heart beats with the rhythm of the saints as I look for the seeds the King has sown to burst up from their graves.” Death has no dominion over him! Romans 6:5 says, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall [certainly] be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Death has no dominion over us… [certainly] it does not!
For the past two weeks COVID-19 has reached its invisible hooks into the cells of both the healthy and the weak, the young and the old, the reckless and the careful. But beyond the virus’s medical havoc it has reached hooks of fear, uncertainty, and panic into the hearts of many in our communities. The virus is acting on our world like the somber procession of days leading up to Easter morning. Darkness covered the world that weekend. The earth shook. Mary wept. The disciples cowered behind closed doors. Some renounced their hope and cursed. Uncertainty enveloped the religious establishment, law enforcement, and even unsuspecting onlookers.
This morning as I write these words our society is (for the moment and perhaps going forward) shaken loose from smug and unquestioned securities. Darkness covers the land as literally the clouds are dark and heavy with rain but also witnessed in the darkness of charts covered in red showing the tidal wave of new coronavirus cases covering America. People weep for the dead but can have no proper funerals. Many are cowering for fear of their lives (though we must keep a distance for health reasons, of course). The tired questions of, “Where is God in COVID-19?” are already leaping onto the headlines of news stations. Uncertainly envelopes politicians, doctors and nurses, religious leaders, and even those who never thought their lives would be entangled in a pandemic of this proportion.
I’ve heard optimistic outlooks for how this all ends and I’ve heard dismal outlooks. But allow me to offer neither uninformed optimism nor bleak pessimism. Rather let me remind you of this: as much as the Prince of Darkness would love to distract God’s beloved and chosen people, the Church this season (Lent, Passion, and Resurrection)… The power of God in conquering death still got the last word in that story. It will in this one as well.
God has no intentions of letting Easter Sunday get eclipsed by death and disease. Such things cannot rule the heart of a Christian! They have no dominion over a child of God who is both dead to the old ways but resurrected to God’s ways. This is true in the way we live out our faith in the midst of death’s darkness. It is also true in a literal and bodily sense one day. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:52).”
No, life will eclipse death. Light will dispel darkness. And permanence will overcome impermanence. That’s the Christian gospel and good news! Today COVID-19 is sending tremors but on the Lord’s Day – the day of reckoning – it will be the Lord Jesus who’s words will send tremors. Every eye shall behold him and there will be lasting Easter in that day for those whose hope is in Him!
The importance of this truth isn’t just for our future hope – it informs us on current affairs. Paul wraps up his resurrection chapter in 1 Corinthians 15 with the words, “Therefore (because of the resurrection), my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (v. 58).”
Dear saints, knowing we are awaiting Easter Sunday just weeks from now and the eternal Easter of eternal life, let us live today being loyal to Christ, anchored to Christ, and productive in the work of Christ during these strange but ripened days. Write that letter. Make that call. Reconcile with an enemy. Make meals for the unfortunate. Lead your children in prayer. And encourage the distressed with this God-backed guarantee that Easter will not be eclipsed behind COVID-19! Grace and peace to you all.