Easter Message: HOPE OF REBIRTH AFTER COVID-19 LOCKDOWN JUST AS CHRIST AROSE
When the Lord Jesus told His disciples that He would suffer at the hands of the Romans, be crucified and rise again the third day, some if not most of them probably thought he was speaking figuratively. The first two parts were fairly common: their people were often brutalised by the Romans. The merciless whippings of criminals and dissidents in the barracks of Roman soldiers and the courts of the Roman governor and crucifixions on hillsides were cringing sights to deter rebellion by their people. But when a man was hung on a tree- stretched out and pinned with nails as in a crucifixion- and eventually died after hours or days of agony, the chapter on his life was closed.
Although they believed that Jesus wasn’t an ordinary man (to them He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God) and the Scriptures prophesied His suffering and rising from the dead, they could hardly believe that it was about to happen in their lifetime. King David graphically described the Passion of Christ in Psalm 22 and in Psalm 16:10, he foresaw the resurrection:
“For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” (Obviously, David was not talking about himself as Peter explained in Acts 2:29-32.)
But Jesus had died and was laid in a tomb after Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea had prepared His body with spices in the tradition of Jewish burials (John 19:38-42). How could He possibly live again? Many of the words of the prophets remained just that, mere words. No one knew when they would be fulfilled. The prophecies of David cited above were from a millenium before their time. Who knew how much longer it would take for them to be fulfilled or if they were even meant to be taken literally. They were all heartbroken- their Lord and Master was dead and they were not sure they would ever see Him again.
Then on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene ran to them with the news: “I have seen the Lord!”
15. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.” – John 20:15-18
To them, it was crazy and beyond belief (Luke 24:11). But subsequently, Jesus appeared to them. He proved to them he was alive by eating some food, reminded them of his teachings on his death and resurrection, rebuked them for their unbelief, promised to send them the Holy Ghost and took them to the vicinity of Bethany where they saw Him ascend to heaven (Luke 24:36-51).
The God who confounded the Jews and the Romans by raising the Lord Jesus from the dead is still in the business of blowing people’s minds by doing that which they can hardly believe.
In this COVID-19 pandemic, we see Him pulling the world through already. Although it is not yet over, the death toll has been much lower than projected. For example, in the United States, some estimates held that as many as two million people could die but that projection has been steadily revised downwards to about 60,000. Still a lot of lives but nowhere near what was feared. One of the things that have helped in the absence of clear cures and vaccines for tackling the novel Sars-Cov2 virus that caused the pandemic is the discovery that cheap, existing drugs like Hydroxychloroquine and Z-Pak can knock it out and get people well in days, especially if they are treated early before the need for intubation. This, as some have said, is a God-send and worth thanking Him for.
And the worst seems to be over for many countries with the result that China has eased the lockdowns put in place to contain the spread of the virus. Similarly, in the next week or two, European countries like Italy, Denmark, Austria, Norway and The Czech Republic have announced dates and plans for reopening their economies and gradually restoring normalcy. Other countries, including the US, are putting modalities in place to do the same without causing a huge rebound of the disease.
This seemed impossible a few weeks ago, with some claiming that the siege imposed on the world by this pandemic will last a year or two. Some ministers of the gospel like Kenneth Copeland and Shawn Bolz did prophesy that it will end sooner than projected and here we are speedily approaching the end. (See links to their prophecies at the end of this post.)
The damage done to national and corporate economies, to the livelihood of individuals, to people’s mental heath and overall wellbeing in the past two months is gargantuan but we can hope for a rebirth. Jesus Christ was completely dead but God raised Him from the dead.
“But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.” – Acts 2:24 (NLT)
In the same way, it is my belief that in this season, God Almighty, the doer of the impossible, will breath new life into our health, livelihoods, economies and every area of our lives in the grip of death and destruction. I look forward that we shall arise from this lockdown renewed in body and spirit, purified of the things that polluted and weighed us down, reenergised in our pursuit of God and righteousness and become much more robust and prosperous than before.
Some ministers of the gospel like Shawn Bolz (cited above) and Heather Lindsey have prophesied along those lines (see links below). I pray that it will all come to pass very quickly in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Please share any personal testimony you may have of God’s visitation or promise to you in this season. You are awesomely blessed in Jesus’ name.
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