Saturday, May 28, 2022
HomeopinionThe hope of Easter eclipses the darkness of Ukraine

The hope of Easter eclipses the darkness of Ukraine

The aesthetics of Easter are bright. We dress up in pastel-colored clothing, we search for shiny eggs full of candy, and we take pictures with life-size bunnies. But it all feels a bit trite this year, when we compare this lighthearted fun with the grim reality of what is unfolding in Ukraine. The streets there are full of innocent corpses, shot down, blown up, or tortured by Russian soldiers. Our typical Easter festivities seem trite at a time like this. 

But the original Good Friday more than 2,000 years ago was also a scene of horror and devastation, much like it is in Ukraine right now. 

Marianna Vishegirskaya stands outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022.

Marianna Vishegirskaya stands outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov, File)

The sun grew dark at midday. Earthquakes shook the ground, splitting rocks apart and cracking tombs open, as Jesus hung on a wooden cross,  pierced and bleeding, crying out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

EASTER REMINDS US GOOD FRIDAY’S DARKNESS ALWAYS GIVES WAY TO HOPE

I am sure that many Ukrainians hiding amidst the rubble of besieged cities are asking that very same question right now. Where is God in all this? Why won’t he intervene when I need him most?

An empty Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus during Easter Sunday Mass on April 12, 2020, in Podgorica, Montenegro. (Filip Filipovic/Getty Images)

An empty Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus during Easter Sunday Mass on April 12, 2020, in Podgorica, Montenegro. (Filip Filipovic/Getty Images)

The irony is that Jesus was, in a paradoxical way, the answer to His own question. On the cross,  God was intervening. 

As John 3:16 tells us, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” The horrific suffering and death of the cross was not the scene of an accident; it was the accomplishment of God’s mission. Easter celebrates the fact that the Son of God himself underwent suffering in order to save us and offer us eternal life.

  • A woman cries in front of her house in Andriivka Image 1 of 3

    Tetiana Oleksiienko cries standing at the gate of her house in the village of Andriivka, Ukraine, on April 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda))

  • The body of a Ukrainian man in a Andriivka field Image 2 of 3

    The body of Anton Ischenko, 20, a Ukrainian man who died while his village was occupied by Russian troops, lies in a field in Andriivka, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

  • A Ukrainian army soldier checks her phone. Image 3 of 3

    Ukrainian army soldier checks her phone after a search for Russian troops after their withdrawal from villages in the outskirts of Kyiv on April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

For those in Ukraine, there is nothing good in what is happening to them. They are enduring evil, plain and simple. But I want to assure you that although God’s answer to their prayers may not come immediately, it will come ultimately. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

God’s answer to the horrors of Good Friday was delayed, but not canceled. The disciples endured the sorrow of Christ’s death that Friday afternoon.   

For those in Ukraine, there is nothing good in what is happening to them. They are enduring evil, plain and simple. But I want to assure you that although God’s answer to their prayers may not come immediately, it will come ultimately. 

Saturday must have felt like an eternity to them. But then that first Easter Sunday came, when Christ was gloriously resurrected from the dead. This milestone event illustrates the truth that Thomas Aquinas explained, “God is so powerful that He can direct any evil to a good end.” 

Because of what happened at Easter, we can be assured that Christ will someday soon “swallow up death forever” and “wipe away tears from all faces” (Isaiah 25:8). Easter is God’s guarantee that evil will not triumph.

As the apostle Paul wrote, If we trust in him, we will have “the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).  May you and your family experience a glorious and hope-filled Easter.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM DR. ROBERT JEFFRESS

Dr. Robert Jeffress is pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas and a Fox News (FNC) contributor. His daily radio program “Pathway to Victory” is heard on over 1,000 stations. His weekly television program is seen in all 195 countries on more than 12,000 cable systems stations.

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular