Easter Greetings 2019
Letter from Commissioner Rosalie Peddle
What a privilege to greet you during this most Holy season of Lent, as we have been once more positioning our hearts to embrace and express the lavish grace that God has poured out through the giving of His son Jesus, and which will be shared in a myriad of ways around the world in our Good Friday remembrances and Easter celebrations. I trust you have experienced and welcomed the sacredness of this journey, taking time to reflect on the final days of Jesus, as he approached Jerusalem with Calvary on his mind. We must empathize with his pain and sorrow, the agonizing price that was paid to clear the debt of sin for you and me. And yet, neither death nor the grave could hold him, because Jesus claimed and continues to claim the victory.
Therefore, with amazing power, hope and joy we will stand and sing triumphantly on Easter Sunday morning ‘Christ the Lord is Risen today! Hallelujah! The tomb is empty, and the angel has declared, Jesus is alive. ‘He is not here…he is Risen!!’ Easter Sunday morning gives reason for celebration.
In Matthew 28, when the women discovered that Jesus had risen from the dead, they were surprised, shocked and afraid. The women had arrived in deep sorrow to Christ’s tomb, expecting and believing that he lay dead in the grave. Despite all that Jesus had said or promised, they expected to encounter death! Ah! – but they experienced the greatest surprise of their lives. Jesus was Alive!!
How did this Good News of the Resurrection impact the lives of the women! Look to verse 8 ‘So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy!’
Yes, there was fear, yet their joy was greater. They were filled with joy that what Jesus had prophesied about Himself had actually come to pass. They were filled with joy because Jesus had been restored to them and raised to glory. They were filled with joy because Jesus was and is completely victorious over the forces of evil and darkness. They were filled with joy because the shackles of death had been broken – not only for Christ, but also for all those who believe in Him. They were filled with joy because there was now hope for the hopeless. They were filled with joy because their own faith, hope and love were not in vain. They were filled with joy, because what had ended on Friday in horror, began anew on Sunday in triumph. The period for fear and grieving had passed and the time for rejoicing had come.
Like that first Easter morning, Resurrection joy needs to be celebrated and Resurrection joy needs to be shared. Our reaction to the Resurrected Jesus ought to lead us to this response, worship and praise and adoration to the Resurrected Lord, who daily seeks to pour into our lives His resurrection power. It is this incredible joy that so filled the women on that first Easter that the immediate reaction upon encountering Jesus was to bow down and worship. The women were told to ‘Believe It’…it is true. This is what Easter is all about. We are redeemed and forgiven people and in that lies our joy and hope. And now in that same joy and hope, our risen Lord calls upon us to believe it and to act upon it.
Continuing in Matthew chapter 8, we see that both the angel and Jesus give instruction to: “Go and Tell’ the Resurrection message. It is not meant to be the Church’s best kept secret or conspiracy – rather, it is meant to be Preached, Proclaimed, Shouted, Sung and Lived Out throughout the Whole World. How can we ever keep the Resurrection news to ourselves? Christianity is a ‘go and tell’ faith experience.
The remarkable change in the early believers is solid proof of Christ’s resurrection. One day they were discouraged, shaken, and hiding away in fear. The next day they were emboldened and empowered, declaring His Resurrection and walking in joyful victory.
The instruction to ‘Go and Tell’ was not just given to the women and to the disciples, nor was it sealed for that time or that place – it is an instruction that remains for each one, who encounters the living God today!! We are called to share the good news with joy and confidence, even amidst our fears.
I am praying that no matter the circumstances in which we find ourselves today, that God will empower and embolden us to rise up this Easter and joyfully share the wonderful message of salvation, transformation and hope to those we will encounter. May the reality of our resurrected Saviour pour into and out of our lives, so that people who meet us will also experience Easter joy because they have encountered Jesus.
God bless you all. Thank you for all you do in your ministry to women and for women. Let’s believe together that this Easter will be life-changing for many people around our world, as we celebrate the love, peace and joy of our Living Lord.
Commissioner Rosalie Peddle
World President of Women’s Ministries