Easter Message from Bishop Charlie
My dear friends, members of ANiC,
I greet you, and all you love, on behalf of our wonderful team of ANiC bishops and their wives as we enter into our celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.
As I write you, Good Friday and then of course Easter are just a few days away.
Increasingly, as we have been journeying through the Holy Season of Lent, there has been such an awareness of our desperate need for the forgiveness of our sins but now great, unspeakable joy because of the complete success of Jesus’ saving, forgiving mission.
He, the very Son of God, lived a perfect life but died in our place “on the tree” for our sins and has now been raised from the dead never to die again. By virtue of this resurrection of the Crucified Saviour, complete victory is his, established and proven by his resurrection and wonderfully now ours—who run to him by faith.
Here are two brief passages for us to meditate on afresh. Both are bold and in their way shocking statements of the need and success of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus.
The first comes from the prophesy of Isaiah 53 where the Father confirms that Jesus’ substitution for us on the cross was both necessary, according to his sovereign will, and completely successful:
“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities."
The second comes from 1 Corinthians where the Apostle Paul makes clear the necessity that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. Only if this is true can we, who trust in him and are therefore connected to him, have our sins forgiven and also be raised from the dead. The good news is he absolutely has been raised from the dead and thus becomes the first of the many, who are connected to him by faith.
"But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."
1 Corinthians 15:13-20
Because of the fact that Jesus died and because of the fact that he was raised on the third day, you and I who live in him by faith have every reason to rejoice with exceedingly great eternal joy because The Lord is Risen, He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Share the joy, open your mouth and speak about the Risen Saviour Jesus!
Because He lives,
The Right Reverend Charlie Masters
Anglican Network in Canada