Easter is the triumph of God’s goodness. Everything that is wrong is destined to be made right on Resurrection Morning. Death no longer defines earth or humanity. The gates of hell will not prevail against God’s kingdom of goodness (Matthew 16:18).
This past week folks were gathered around an older woman at our SOS Community Meal in the gym. She was wearing a locket around her neck. It featured a boy’s photo. The boy was her dear grandson. She explained that her soldier-grandson had been killed in Afghanistan the previous Saturday. I was stunned. It was so hard to hear. Folks were trying to comfort her. We long for a world where such losses are no more. Death shatters hearts and dreams.
The Bible’s story is that God made the universe according to goodness of life, not the darkness of death. The perspective of God at each stage of creation is: it is good. At its completion God declares that creation is very good (Genesis 1:31). Father-Son-Holy Spirit created humanity imbued with God’s image (Genesis 1:27). That image means that we are made to the Maker’s love, humility, goodwill, and self-sacrificing nature. We are made to desire and to express that goodness. We were made to glorify God. That means we were designed to reveal how good God is.
Though all creation reveals/glorifies God (Romans 2:10, Psalms 10:1-2), human beings reveal God’s goodness best. The hope of restored goodness is what the human heart longs for.
We long for the day when “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).
Please read the testimonies of three long-time followers of Jesus in our church family. They bear witness of a journey of life that has taught them to long and to anticipate God’s complete goodness. They trust in the hope of resurrection.
Q: When you think of resurrection and eternal life, what comes to mind?
A: A bright light comes to mind. We will see Jesus. Although there is no marriage in heaven, we will see family, siblings, and parents.
Q: As far back in your life as you can remember, when was the first time that you thought seriously of life beyond death?
A: Twenty years ago I read a book about life after death, about people who came close to death. That made it all more real to me.
Q: What makes you so sure about going to heaven and life after death?
A: Well, I’ve studied it in the Bible. I’ve come to trust what Jesus said. Life has taught me to worship and to trust him.
Q: What comes to your mind when you think about the resurrection and eternal life?
A: I know that I will be with Jesus. I have often thought about eternal life, but as I get older, I think about my eternal life more often. I am not afraid, I am reassured by God’s promise.
Q: What are your thoughts about heaven and eternal life?
A: Over the years, many scripture verses and hymns have given me comfort and hope. I know heaven will be a place filled with joy and love.
Q: What are your fondest memories of Easter?
A: I loved the anticipation of making my daughters’ new dresses. I also looked forward to the beautiful church.
Q: What has prepared you for your future?
A: The promise of everlasting life is all I need to be prepared for the future. I received a good foundation in Confirmation Class at First Presbyterian Church in Babylon when I was 14 years old.
Everything is connected to God’s goodness. God’s truth and justice will stand. Grace prevails. Life has immense consequences. When the world awoke on Easter morning, it awakened to the greatest vindication of goodness. According to the graphic resurrection narrative in Matthew’s gospel, it literally rocked people out of their graves (Matthew 27:53). The creation really will be brought to completion by the character of its Creator.
In the face of grief and disappointment, there is God’s shining glory in Jesus’ resurrection.
It is the hope of the lady with the locket. It is the hope of the faithful. It is the opposite of brokenness and cynicism. It is hope itself. . .very good hope indeed.