The Lord is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!! Alleluia!!!
Let me first and foremost wish each one of you a happy and blessed Easter. May the risen Lord sustain you through the power of the Holy Spirit in the days to come.
We live at a time when the Corona Virus Pandemic has hit the world around. The globe has seen over 16 lakhs of people affected by this pandemic and almost a lakh of people have died. Our own country has crossed the 7500 mark with over 250 people who have died. America has had over 4 lakh cases and close to 16000 people have died. Italy, Spain, UK, Germany and other parts of Europe have been badly affected by this pandemic.
Death seems to be all around us and the fear of death seems to have gripped the hearts and minds of people. People are anxious and afraid what will happen to them if they are infected by this virus. This has also affected the lives of millions of daily wagers who had to flee to their villages because of the plague.
There is no work to do in the cities and there is no money and therefore they tried to get back to their villages. Some managed to get to their villages and some were stopped on the way. Some of them also died undertaking this arduous journey by foot. What we see all around us is death, fear, anxiety, fear of death, anxiety about the lockdown and how long it will be? Everything seems to be like the end of the world.
The death of Christ on Good Friday seemed to be like the end of the road for the Messiah and his disciples. Jesus repeatedly taught his disciples that the Son of Man had to suffer and to die and then be raised again on the third day.
Somehow, the death on the cross seemed to be irreversible and final. The final nail was struck when they saw Jesus being crucified. There was no going back on the fact of his death. The disciples themselves were so scared that they locked themselves up for fear of the Jews on the evening of the first day of the week. The threat of death was too real for them. Their leader had been crucified and now it could be the turn of anyone of them. They were also terribly depressed that their leader who had promised them a kingdom was now cruelly snatched by the cross.
What happened on that first Easter morning had radically altered human history ever since? Mary came back as the first apostle with a message, “The Lord is risen!”
The implications of the resurrection are that the death has been destroyed; sin has been removed; Satan has been defeated; and the Holy Spirit has been freely given to all of us. We are no more to be worried about death as the last and final step because of the resurrection of Jesus. We are also assured of the forgiveness of sins because Jesus took our place, died for us and rose again on the third day.
The resurrection also clearly indicates that the Satan has been defeated as all the powers of Satan tried to keep Jesus down but were unable to do so. Finally, since the day of Pentecost till today, the Holy Spirit is freely given to every believer. The empty tomb gives us a future hope.
If Christ has defeated Satan and death and sin then the new creation has begun and we are called to make it happen in our own world. We are ushering in the new creation when we give people hope for people in the midst of death, when we reach out to the migrant workers who are starving for food under this lockdown, when we show our love for our fellow citizens especially for the poor and the needy, when we care for all those in the medical fraternity.
We are to have a new vision where we see our nations without corruption and without power struggles. We see a new world where there is a just distribution of wealth.
We are called to be the Easter people. We are called to take the scripture in one hand and the power of God through the Holy Spirit on the other. We are to take a deep breath of the new creation which blows through the air this Easter and find out what we can do to make the new creation happen.
The power of death and hell will oppose you for doing so and you will face many battles on the way. We are to go back again and again to the fact of Easter; the enemies are a beaten rabble.
God’s new creation should also take place in our individual life. Paul says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil, desires and greed which is idolatry”. He also says that we should rid ourselves of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language.
As we go out into the world filled with the power of the resurrection, may we truly bring God’s new creation to our world, and may we ourselves be transformed into a new creation by the help of the Holy Spirit.
May we pass on the hope of the resurrection to all our people who are in lock down assuring them that God is a God of life who has overcome death and he will give us the victory over this deadly corona virus.
Song - Aaj Jee uta hai
Hymn - Jesus Christ is risen today
Video - Sermon (English)
Video - Sermon (Hindi)
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