24th April 2014

From Darkness Into Light 

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV)
 

Easter is a special time of year for Christians. It’s a time for sober reflection and a time for rejoicing. To understand why, you need to know that Jesus Christ was God from the beginning of time and will be for all eternity. Incredibly Jesus did not cling on to his position as all powerful God, but chose to be born a human being around 2000 years ago. For 30 years he lived and worked as an ordinary human being, experiencing all the emotions and temptations of humanity. Yet he never sinned. 

At 30 years of age he began his ministry here on earth, spending three and a half years preaching, teaching and preparing a small group of disciples to carry on His work. They did not fully understand who he was and what he was teaching them at the time but something compelled them to follow him. So his arrest, trial, crucifixion and death were a terrible shock to them. They were plunged into a depressing darkness and loss of hope on that black day of his death, which we remember on Good Friday. They feared for their own lives and wondered what the future held for them. The Bible tells us that it was a day of physical darkness as well. (Matthew 27:45)  For Christians Good Friday is a day for sober reflection on the awesome sacrifice of the Lord and saviour of all humanity. It was humanity’s ultimate rejection of God. We see that same rejection of God in our society today. 

Yet from the darkness of death came the light of resurrection. To the disciples astonishment, Christ was resurrected – and this is celebrated today on Easter Sunday. He worked with and taught them for 40 days before ascending to heaven. Suddenly the men who had been fearful and afraid were bold, courageous preachers empowered by the Holy Spirit, filled with the light of hope and able to bring 3000 people to Christ in a single day. (Acts 2:41) 

Christ never ruled as a King or priest on earth, He commanded no armies, held no position of power or prominence, yet he was and is the light of the world. (John 1:1-5) That light shines in the world today, through Christians who reflect the light of Christ in their lives, some brightly and well, some rather dimly and even intermittently. 

So Easter is a time for rejoicing and reflecting on what God has done, out of his incredible love for all humanity.  It is about the darkness of death being transformed into the light of hope for all humanity, when God’s sacrifice, in the person of Jesus, paid the penalty for the sins of all humanity and releasing us into the glorious light of grace. 

Hard to understand? Yes and no. Maybe Easter is a puzzle for you, a bit like peering into the darkness when you can’t see. But the light of truth and understanding is there if you look for it. Reading the Bible can help; going to church can help; praying and asking God to reveal his light to you can help. Why not decide that this year you will understand what Easter is all about and why it is so important to Christians? 

Prayer
Father, for too many people the light of Christ darkened at his crucifixion, and in darkness people can’t see. Let the light of the resurrected Christ shine through Christians today and illuminate the incredible and exciting truth about the events of this time called Easter.
Amen
 

Study by Keith Hartrick

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keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, a Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: malcolm.john.arnold@ntlworld.com

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