What are the three most important and powerful words spoken in human history on planet Earth? I submit the three words – HE HAS RISEN!
The two women who first saw Christ’s empty tomb in the morning three days after He was crucified heard these words, “He is not here; He has risen.” After these words were spoken, the world changed dramatically. Jesus’s mission was to save humans from the consequences of sin—eternal death. The love, healing, and forgiveness offered by Jesus was compelling. This was a new concept to the people of that day. It was as if a nuclear explosion of love happened in Jerusalem. Caring for one another and believing in a loving God caught on like wildfire. It was counter-cultural, but it eventually changed the culture of the western world.
Jesus lived in a troubled time, in a country occupied by the Roman Empire. Today we live in a troubled time as well. In our world everything changes at mind-boggling speed. Wars don’t end. Fears of additional wars are always on the horizon. There is unspeakable cruelty and injustice, especially towards our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. But there is also a real and alive Jesus Christ. Today, Christians believe this alive Jesus is the only real hope in the world.
The Bible tells us that Christ brings peace into a troubled world. How does this happen? A person needs facts and faith to believe this. Where do you get “the facts”?
Historians know that Jesus lived, was crucified, and was buried. These are facts. The difficult part might be believing in Jesus’s resurrection. His resurrection was a unique, supernatural event. That’s where faith comes in.
How can one have enough faith to believe in the resurrection? It might be a step-by-step process of knowing (but not being able to prove) that the earth was created by supernatural events. Believing in a supernatural power—one Who created us and thus knows more than we know —is the beginning of a faith in a creator God.
Faith builds over time through study, prayer, discussion, and the observation of others who have more faith. Eventually through the transformation of our minds and hearts, we can believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Once believing, our lives change forever—forever on earth and in heaven— like Jesus promised. Such a personal transformation is very important and very powerful. How does one obtain everlasting life other than by a supernatural gift?
ARDF and Walk with Rwanda are working with the Anglican Church of Rwanda in the transformation of people, meeting their physical needs and helping them become believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Your contributions to Walk with Rwanda bring opportunity for new life to people in the country who are seeking peace and the truth of God—as well as clean water, agricultural training, or other basic needs.
Your gifts are both important and powerful to many people who have so very little.
What is more important and powerful than knowing that Jesus is Risen? Jesus told his disciples:
“I’ve told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I hope you had a wonderful Easter with your family, friends, and your church.
With a grateful heart for you,
Canon William E. Deiss
Executive Director, Anglican Relief and Development Fund