Bishop's Easter Greeting

Easter Sunday, 2016

The season of Lent began with the reminder to, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return”. It was a reminder of the fragility of our human lives and that they are destined to end. Today we celebrate that, “Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!” This Lord Jesus has changed everything. Because of him, we who are dust have the hope of eternal life.

Easter is the day we proclaim the victory of God in Christ Jesus. In rising from the grave, Jesus has defeated sin, death, and the devil. Jesus shows us that he, and not the powers of evil and destruction, is the ultimate power in creation. Death cannot hold him because he has broken the doors of death wide open.

This matters to you and I because Jesus is the one who has claimed us in our baptism. Jesus has made us his own, and as he reminds us in John 15, “I will lose nothing that the Father has entrusted to my hand.” This means that the great God of heaven and earth, the one who brought life and light into being, the creator of all that is has you and will not let you go. You belong to God in Christ Jesus.

We all too often turn away from him, but we can be sure that Jesus Christ will never turn away from us. Never forget that this gift of life with Christ and our salvation from sin and eternal death comes at a great cost. We celebrate this day that Jesus rose from the dead. But we must remember that to rise Jesus first had to die. Jesus suffered a horrible death on the cross.

On that cross is the God who loves us so much that he would not abandon us to sin and destruction. Jesus held nothing of himself back, he loved this world so much that he would rather sacrifice himself than see us be destroyed. Jesus Christ would rather die than lose you forever.

This happened because of the great love that God has for us and for all of this world. God stops at nothing to save us. God, in Christ Jesus, pours his life out for the sake of this world. In Jesus we see that we are loved so much that our Savior would give all. Because he has done this, we now have the hope of eternal life in him. Without him we are dust, because of him we are children of God who have life in him.

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.
+Bishop Michael Rhyne