Recently a close friend phoned me to say that his son was fighting for his life with the Covid virus. We prayed for healing and gratefully the young man is recovering now. Nevertheless, the situation was desperate for a time and it was clear that my friend’s son was getting nearer to death.
In fact, many of us have lost loved ones to Covid and we mourn with those who have had to bear this great loss. For Christ-followers, we have the hope of seeing those we love again in heaven; although its clear from Scripture that not everyone will be allowed to enjoy heaven’s paradise and that relationships there will have to be different from those on earth. Still, death has mostly negative connotations for us as it means we lose someone, something of value to us.
When I was young boy in school I remember being told Jesus’ death and resurrection at Easter was the most important Christian holiday. I was shocked as I had assumed the long celebration of decorations, gifting and traditions at Christmas time was the most important one. How could the suffering, death and resurrection of anyone be celebrated?
When I became a Christ-follower this mystery of Jesus’ death became clearer to me. It is precisely because we fear death, and tend to avoid even the discussion of it, that Jesus’ death for mankind’s sin matters. At Easter we recall the violent seizing and torturing of Jesus in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago; we remember that God the Father did not abandon Jesus His Son, whom He loved, but raised him from the dead so he could appear to his disciples and hundreds of other people before being taken up into heaven. God rescued Jesus from the futility of death, and by faith (trust) in Jesus Christ we ourselves receive eternal life in heaven with God as well.
The virgin birth of Jesus Christ marks his entry into our lives (Christmas) but Easter marks the greater purpose of Jesus’ life; he was born to save our souls from sin and death. His is the great celebration and Easter means that Jesus’s resurrection from the grave is actually a victory over death. St. Paul writes;
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55 ESV)
For me death remains real, difficult and often hard to bear. But in Jesus death is no longer futile, it has been turned into a victory for eternal life in heaven for those who believe.
Global Prayer Points
As we seek to see our marketplace transformed by the Gospel, join us in prayer this week for the following requests from our Global Leadership.
Africa: Pray for good preparations for the 2nd CBMC Africa Convention to be held as a hybrid in Lusaka, Zambia during the days of April 23-24.
Asia/Pacific: Pray for the translation of Operation Timothy into Khmer, the language of Cambodia and Mongolian, the language of Mongolia.
Europe: Specific prayer requests can be sent to [email protected]
Latin America: Pray for the 47 men and women who are currently in training to become disciplers (Pauls). On April 17, CBMC Mexico will be having a National Outreach Meeting by Zoom. Pray for a great harvest.
Middle East: Pray for open doors and leaders in the region.
North America: Pray for establishing an e-CBMC (next generation) in North America Korean CBMC. Pray that Christian leaders would take the challenge to lead other leaders who need Jesus.
If you have a prayer request, please send an email to CBMC International.