On Saturday April 11, in a message via social media, Queen Elizabeth said, “As darkness falls on the Saturday before Easter Day, many Christians would normally light candles together. In church, one light would pass to another, spreading slowly and then more rapidly as more candles are lit. It’s a way of showing how the good news of Christ’s resurrection has been passed on from the first Easter by every generation until now. This year, Easter will be different for many of us but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t cancelled; indeed we need Easter as much as ever. The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. We know that Coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be, particularly for those suffering with grief, light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future. I wish everyone of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter.” The Queen is right, of course, that Easter isn’t cancelled. Christ is risen from the dead and nothing can undo that. What is sad is that she didn’t state the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. She didn’t preach the gospel, and there is no salvation, no victory over death, no real hope, apart from the gospel. A vague “new hope and fresh purpose” isn’t the gospel of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul summarized it like this: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Christ’s bodily resurrection, which is a well-authenticated fact of history, was the evidence that God accepted His vicarious atonement and that He is indeed the Son of God, the only Lord and Saviour. “Jesus Christ our Lord … declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:3-5).
(Friday Church News Notes, April 17, 2020, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)