Thursday, April 15, 2021

Proclaiming the hope of Easter

by PASTOR CHAD WILKS Contributing Writer
| April 2, 2021 1:00 AM

Good Friday. Tonight churches all over the world will gather in person or by video, to be reminded of the cross of Jesus, the sacrifice of love, and the hope we can have even in the dark places of our lives.

Years ago my wife and I attended a Good Friday in Kansas City. Seated in front of us was a couple who kept giggling throughout the first part of the program. It seemed that they were rather cynical, cavalier, and noisy. We were frustrated. However, once the program moved into the arrest of Jesus, we didn’t hear another peep from them, except for an occasional sniffle during the crucifixion of Jesus, and by the end of the service, there was a visible difference in their actions and the countenance of their faces.

What was the difference in their demeanor? When you come face to face with what happened on the cross it has a way of getting your attention.

One of the most important battles ever fought was on June 8, 1815 in Belgium, at a place called Waterloo. The English, the Austrians and the Persians joined together to defeat a military genius, who was a madman by the name of Napoleon. If Napoleon could defeat England then he would have all of Europe, and France would be victorious.

So the battle raged on and on, and all of England waited for word that would come out of Belgium. There were no radios, no phones. A ship would flash a message from them to the Winchester Cathedral and then on to another spot, and they would signal to England.

On the final day the ship got as close as they could to the battle and as the signal came back, England wondered who was winning the war as it was getting near the end. Just as they flashed part of the signal, one of those dense fogs set in that England is so famous for. Just as they flashed the message “Wellington Defeated,” but they couldn’t make out the rest of it, due to the fog. So, they went to bed that night convinced of defeat and wondering how soon it would be until the army of France would march into the English streets. But, early the next morning the fog lifted and they could read the whole message, “Wellington defeated the enemy at Waterloo.”

On that Galilean hillside, Jesus was crucified and the fog was there on Good Friday. However, the message was clear on Sunday morning; Jesus Christ defeated the enemy at Calvary!

You might be living in the fog, but that doesn’t make the message not true. You don’t feel like there is any hope? Maybe you have been looking in the wrong places. Even Jesus’ disciple Thomas doubted, but he kept seeking until he found the truth. How long has it been since you opened yourself up to something bigger than yourself?

Churches all over Bonner County this weekend will be proclaiming the hope of Easter. God did not create you to live a life that is defeated. He sent His son Jesus Christ so that you might have life abundantly. Come to church this weekend and be reminded that Easter is about finding your purpose in life, connecting with the God who wants to walk in this life with you, and experiencing a life filled with hope.

Chad Wilks is the lead pastor at Sandpoint Church of the Nazarene where he will be leading the Easter service at the Bonner County Fairgrounds at 10 a.m. Sunday, April 4.