During our COVID-19 shutdown, Pastor Zekveld plans to provide a personal reflection each weekday.
The Open Door
Easter is an open door. It’s a door out of death into life. It’s a door out of despair into hope.
Jesus opened that door when His dead body, mangled by crucifixion, came back to life on Easter morning. Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus walked out of His tomb, bringing life and immortality into full view. (2 Timothy 1:10)
When His grieving friends came to the tomb early Sunday morning, they were shocked to find it open and empty. They saw only Jesus’ empty grave-clothes, neatly folded up. That same day they met Jesus Himself! Their grief became joy, and they were radically transformed from devastation to confidence and from fear to courage.
A dead man – Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God – came back to life by His own power, and that means the world for us! A whole new world. As God’s Messiah, Jesus’ death and resurrection have special virtue and power to conquer sin and the whole curse that sin brought into our world.
Easter is an open door to a life where sickness and death, war and poverty, sin and pain are no more. Everything you could ever want or hope for is found in that historical event – in Jesus Himself. He is that Open Door!
We’re all headed for death and eternal devastation but Jesus is the Way out of there. If you are locked into one of life’s many prisons; if you’re stuck in a grave of bitterness, despair, addiction, or self-love; if you are a slave to the fear of death or to hating God or to seeing no purpose for your life or to anger; then Jesus calls you today to come to Him for an open door out of your living grave.
When you give your life to Him in faith, He will make you a new creation. (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) He will share with you His victory over death and every other symptom of the curse. And one day He will bring you into the perfect world that He is preparing for all who belong to Him.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Bible sales have been skyrocketing. Publishers report anywhere from a 50% to 150% increase in sales. That’s encouraging because the Bible reveals the Open Door everyone needs.
But at the same time, consumption of alcohol, marijuana, and pornography have also been skyrocketing. There is a marked increase in domestic violence, electronic device fixation and gaming addiction. Many people are looking for comfort in what the Bible calls “broken cisterns that hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) They’re retreating deeper into their prisons instead of looking for the Open Door.
If, as a Christian, you find that you or your children are looking for shelter in these prisons or other mind-numbing, life-wasting, freedom-destroying behaviours, then let God’s Good Word about Good Friday and Easter bring you to repentance.
May God revive you to find in the Risen Christ a doorway out of your tomb, into His new life of victory over sin. A life filled with purpose and hope, loving and serving your family and neighbors, of striving to please Jesus and to become more like Him. A life that leads to eternal glory where God is all in all.
Easter is Jesus’ open door to new life. It is victory over the grave. This is the ultimate comfort and hope we need every day. It’s the hope that encourages us through all worries and troubles, especially in death.
In his poem, ‘Time,’ George Herbert wrote, “Death used to be an executioner, but the Gospel makes him just a gardener.” Death used to destroy us, but Christ took care of it in His own body-and-soul on the cross. He took all the punishment out of it. Death no longer has power over us.
All that the enemy Death can do now is plant us like seeds in the ground like a gardener. One day Jesus will raise us up new, strong, immortal and beautiful. (see Tim Keller, On Death, p. 72).
Easter is an open door to life.
Dr. Jonathan Evans, son of beloved African American Pastor Dr. Tony Evans, gave powerful witness to this at the funeral of his mother, Lois Evans, in January. The family had prayed for her to be healed, but she died of cancer on December 30, 2019.
In his eulogy Jonathan said that just because God didn’t answer our prayer our way doesn’t mean He didn’t answer our prayer anyway.
God’s answer to His children is always yes or yes. Either your Mom’s going to be healed or she’s going to be healed. Either she’s going to live or she’s going to live. Either she’s going to be with family or she’s going to be with family. Either she’s going to be well-taken care of or she’s going to be well-taken care of. Either way, Mom has victory because of Jesus who died and rose again.Dr. Jonathan Evans