A Resurrection Sunday Message from Rev. Antonio Reyes
President, Lutheran Church in the Philippines
April 12, 2020 | Easter Sunday
Today, we rejoice as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, our Savior. Every year, in fact every day, through the Word and the Sacraments, we get to be reminded of Jesus’ victory over sin, Satan and death. The reason for this constant reminder is that, we still lose sight of the victory which is also ours through faith in Him. Through our Baptism, we were buried with Jesus into His death and just as He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life. What is meant by this newness of life that we have in Christ as believers? It simply means that since Jesus lives forever, we too shall live a new life with Him unto eternity. Eternal life is ours now, through faith in Jesus. And therefore, because of Jesus rising from death to life, we are not to be afraid of physical death. We have that assurance now in Christ Jesus.
It is easy to lose sight of the victory and the assurance we have in Jesus’ resurrection especially with the global spread of the infectious Corona virus. The dreaded Corona virus that killed thousands already is sowing fear and affecting the day to day life of every person. The smell of death fills the air. Fear of contamination of the virus and fear of death resulting from it, is now making some of us paralyzed. Church activities are being suspended until the virus is gone. The proclamation of the Gospel of salvation is hampered because of the social and physical distancing required. Some are even showing an attitude of the fear of people, even their own neighbors.
Despite the advances of science and technology, the antidote of the virus is still nowhere to be found. Those infected may die, in fact many have already died. Thus, fear and anxiety are intensified. The death of those contaminated with the virus reminds us of the reality of death. Everyday people are dying. They die of various causes. This tells us that death is inevitable. All of us, eventually, will die. For the true cause of death is sin. “For the wages of sin is death.” The question is, where do we go after we die?
The challenge is upon us. The message of the resurrection of Jesus, of the empty tomb, should be proclaimed to all. Moved and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Christian church ought to proclaim relentlessly the Good News that Jesus Christ has died for our sins and rose from the grave and that His resurrection has ensured us of the forgiveness of sin, salvation and eternal life through faith in Him. This message of the resurrected Christ can be proclaimed in many ways. Especially this time of the pandemic, it can be proclaimed verbally, through social media, live streaming, text messages and other means. What is important is that there is proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord. For the Scripture say: “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Amen!