The Christian calendar has been preparing us, both Christians and non-believers, for Easter. It is a significant event, even if looked upon only as a holiday break and an opportunity to overindulge in chocolate and special treats.
What took place at the first Easter is the foundation of the Christian faith, because of the resurrection of Jesus and his triumph over sin and death. It sets Christianity apart from all other beliefs. Without the resurrection, there is no Christian faith.
Jesus’ defeat of evil paved the way for eternal life for those who believe in Him and want to be His faithful disciples. Disciples who have learnt by experience that Jesus’ promises are true, and we can stand confidently on them. The members of Australian Church Women (ACW) know the lived experience of Jesus’ promises, and they have held fast to these truths.
Back in 1980, the April issue of ACW’s national newsletter printed some of these promises as an Easter message written by Val Baker of Hobart.
‘Have Faith in His Promises'
Remembering anew the suffering of Christ on the Cross, also the promises He gave us to believe and trust in give us hope in the future.
‘Sufferings of Jesus, while in human form, are what we in the world today experience at some time in our lives: persecution, desertion, loneliness, abandonment and utter despair.
‘Before Jesus' crucifixion, He said "I am leaving this world, but I am sending you another … who will teach you all things."
‘His comfort (the Holy Spirit) and guidance leads us to the scriptures, to be upheld by His promises.
‘God's promises are the breastplate to wear as protection against the arrows and blows of this world. We can remember these promises:—
‘When worries oppress us Mat. 6 (your Father in Heaven)
"Do not start worrying, instead be concerned with the Kingdom of God, and what He requires for you and He will provide all your needs, so do not worry about tomorrow: it will have worries enough, there is no need to add to the trouble each day brings".
‘When we are weary Mat. 11:25–30
"Come unto me, all ye who are tired and heavy laden take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest".
‘Anxious for dear ones Luke 17
Jesus heals ten men, only one thanked Him, and the Lord said "Your faith has made you whole".
‘When friends turn from us Mat. 5
Jesus taught "Happy are those, when people insult you and persecute you, and tell lies about you: because you are my followers; be happy and glad, your reward is in Heaven."
‘We must be like Iambs in this darkened world. Cor. 13 says: "Love is patient and kind" and again "Forgive seventy times seven" Luke 13.
‘When sorrow takes over (think of Jesus' prayer)
"My Father, if it be possible, take this cup from me not my will but thine be done" Mat. 26:39.’
May this Easter season draw you closer to Jesus and give you greater understanding of His promises and the sacrifice He made for you.