1 Corinthians 15:24-26 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
What is Easter? It can be many things, but for Christians it is the kingdom of God among us. Chiefly it is the festival of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God, from the dead. On Thursday, Jesus ate the last supper, and in the evening went to the garden of Gethsemene where he would be arrested. After being arrested, he went on trial before the Jews, and then the Romans, where he was convicted, tortured and then executed. He was killed by being nailed to a cross, and hung until death. Once dead, his body was taken, and placed in a new tomb. Early Sunday morning the women go to the tomb, but the tomb is empty, and Jesus is not there, angels appear, telling them Jesus is risen, latter, they see Jesus himself, he is risen from the dead, just as he said.
What does Easter prove? That Jesus teaching is true. That God accepted Jesus sacrifice for the forgiveness of all our sins. That we too need not be conquered in death, but in Christ that we too might look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and everlasting life with God in heaven.
All that is fine and true, but what does the kingdom of God among us mean? While it is popular in this age to think that I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul - in point of fact we are neither. Something outside ourselves is always controlling us. It could be the government, it could be a job, it could be health problems, it could be things we want, it could be many things. And so we work hard to overcome the obstacles we see, that prevent us from doing what we want. In most cases the world believes that if we only had the money or the power, we could do what we want. The funny thing is that even the people with money and power cannot do what they want. Why? Because all creation is subject to bondage, either to the world, to flesh or the devil.
We may not like to look at ourselves as sheep, but we canít take care of ourselves, we canít find the green pastures, the gentle waters, the sun or even clean air to breath. We need a good shepherd. And that is why I say, that for Christians, Easter is the kingdom of God among us. That is Christ has come to set us free from every sort of slavery, and to invite us into the kingdom of God, where all will be provided, where all evil is conquered, where all needs are provided for.
Its not that the world is changed, there is still sickness, sorrow, suffering and death in this world. There are still evil oppressors and people enslaved --but it doesnít have to be that way forever. Christ has conquered all enemies, and he alone is victorious, and the good news of Easter, is that he is offering to share this victory with us, now. He is inviting us to share in the glory that is his, not as servants, but as co-heirs with him, to live with him, to reign with him, our needs provided for, or sins forgiven, and a place prepared for us in heaven. And even now, the power to overcome sin and temptation, and to live the new life that is ours in Jesus Christ.