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Easter hope overshadows darkness in Ukraine


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The Easter aesthetic is bright. We dress up in pastel-colored clothes, search for shiny eggs full of candy, and take pictures with life-size bunnies. But it all seems a bit mundane this year, when we compare that light-hearted fun with the grim reality of what’s unfolding in Ukraine. The streets are full of innocent corpses, shot, blown or tortured by Russian soldiers. Our typical Easter festivities seem mundane at a time like this.

But the original Good Friday, more than 2,000 years ago, was also a scene of horror and devastation, much like it is in Ukraine today.

FILE – Marianna Vishegirskaya stands outside a shell-damaged maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov, File)

The sun darkens at noon. Earthquakes shook the ground, shattering rocks and opening graves, as Jesus hung on a wooden cross, pierced and bleeding, crying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

EASTER REMINDS US OF THE DARKNESS OF GOOD FRIDAY ALWAYS GIVES HOPE

I’m sure many Ukrainians hiding among the rubble of besieged cities are asking the same question right now. Where is God in all of this? Why doesn’t he step in when I need him most?

FILE - A general view of the empty Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus during Easter Sunday mass on April 12, 2020 in Podgorica, Montenegro. (Photo by Filip Filipovic/Getty Images)

FILE – A general view of the empty Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus during Easter Sunday mass on April 12, 2020 in Podgorica, Montenegro. (Photo by Filip Filipovic/Getty Images)

The irony is that Jesus was, in a paradoxical way, the answer to his own question. On the cross, God intervened.

As John 3:16 tells us, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” The horrible suffering and death of the cross was no accident; it was the fulfillment of God’s mission. Easter celebrates the fact that the Son of God himself suffered to save us and give us eternal life.

For those in Ukraine, there is nothing good about what is happening to them. They endure evil, pure and simple. But I want to assure you that while God’s answer to their prayers may not come immediately, it will come eventually.

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God’s response to the horrors of Good Friday has been delayed, but not cancelled. The disciples endured the grief of Christ’s death that Friday afternoon.

For those in Ukraine, there is nothing good about what is happening to them. They endure evil, pure and simple. But I want to assure you that while God’s answer to their prayers may not come immediately, it will come eventually.

Saturday must have seemed like an eternity to them. But then that first Easter Sunday came when Christ was gloriously raised from the dead. This milestone event illustrates the truth that Thomas Aquinas explained: “God is so powerful that he can direct any evil to a good end.”

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Because of what happened at Easter, we can be sure that one day Christ will “swallow up death forever” and “wipe away tears from every face” (Isaiah 25:8). Easter is God’s guarantee that evil will not triumph.

As the apostle Paul wrote: If we trust in him, we will have “victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). May you and your family have a glorious and hopeful Easter.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. ROBERT JEFFRESS


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