Gilland: Hope is alive because He lives

It is no accident or coincidence that people all over the globe are celebrating Easter Sunday this morning. In every continent, in every nation, believers in Jesus Christ are meeting together to remember and commemorate the greatest event of all time.

You see, in spite of what many call “the post-Christian culture” in which we live today, history itself has acknowledged the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, who proclaimed Himself to be the Son of the living God.

Even those who deny the faith have to acknowledge that they regularly take part in confirming His impact on the world. How, you may ask? Every time you write a check and fill in that day’s date, or add the date to a form, you are confirming the timeline by which our calendars are formed.

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Today is April 17, 2022 AD. Now, the suffix “AD” does not stand for “after death.” It comes from the Latin anno domini, which means “in the year of our Lord.” Even those who want to stamp out all acknowledgement of Christ simply can’t succeed.

Others in history have attempted to do just that, as far back as the Roman Empire. But we are not talking about a simple character in history. We are talking about the living God of the universe, who sent His son as a willing sacrifice, on the most cruel of all execution points…the cross.

Why God was willing to do so is the question of the ages, but that is what He did. Jesus gave His life on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice, one so great and powerful that it appeased the just wrath of God against the sin that we have all committed. The forgiveness of sin is promised to those who acknowledge Jesus, who trust in Him as their salvation.

When Jesus said His last words, “It is finished,” the plan of the ages was set. But there was still a major event to come.

It occurred on the third day after the crucifixion, when on the first day of the week, God the Father raised the Son in resurrection power, and He is alive forevermore, sitting at the right hand of the Father.

In those days following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, there was a common greeting that believers used with each other. Upon seeing their friends, the first would say, “He is risen.” And the second would answer, “He is risen indeed.”

And because He is risen, we have hope, and a future. In the words of famed songwriters Bill and Gloria Gaither, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives…all fear is gone.”

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