Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken.

What is Easter? It has many symbols, and they all point to new life. Some of the symbols are not always clear, for their origins are mixed. In climates that do not know winter, there is little appreciation of spring. But where winters are long, its not hard to see them as a good symbol for death, and Easter, coming in early spring is a clear symbol of new life. So chicks and bunnies, thatís new life, and eggs, are the hope of new life.

So our text talks about the hope which is Easter. Isaiah lived many years before Christ would be born, but God gave him a message of hope. That God would send a long promised Savior, and that one of the chief things he would do, would be to conquer death. Along with conquering death, the Savior would comfort the people, wiping away their tears, and finally, and most central to us, he would give to us forgiveness for all our sins. All of these things would come to pass in the promised messiah and savior, not just of Israel, but of the world.

And so people since the beginning have lived in hope, looking to the fulfillment of this promise of God. The good news for us now, is that the promised savior has been born, that he has come, that he has paid the price for all our sins, and that he is now risen. He has conquered death, He has conquered the devil, and he has come to us to share with us this great victory.

For just as God said, let there be light, and there was light, for God created everything out of nothing, by the power of his word; so the Word which God has spoken has come to pass, and has been fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ.

And for us today, the chief thing is always all that God has given us in Jesus Christ -- and our response to this great gift of hope, is that we continue to tell the story, so that by the power of the Word, spoken among us, we might continue steadfast in faith unto everlasting life, and that others too hearing this good news, might have the Word work in their hearts, the Holy Spirit creating faith, and granting them also a new life, forgiveness of sins and peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.