Published: 00:01 GMT Daylight Time - Sunday 08 April 2012
Lent Prayer - Easter Day
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, South and East Asia, Central Asia, Africa, Europe, South America
“Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, 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.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-26)
Two days ago, on Good Friday, we reflected on two brave Christians who were killed last year for their bold witness to Christ. They are typical of so many, from New Testament times to our own day, who have lost their lives for His sake. But what is it that inspires Christians with such courage and faithfulness in the face of intense hostility and even death?
|Burmese Christian children, supported by Barnabas, rejoice in worship|
In the passage above, Paul proclaims the resurrection of Christ, which we celebrate today, as the firstfruits of a greater harvest. Christ has already been raised from the dead, and all those who are “in Christ”, who belong to Him, will also be raised at His coming. Then all the powers that oppose Him and oppress His people – even death itself – will be destroyed, as the Kingdom of God is finally and fully established.
It is this hope that enables persecuted Christians to face death at the hands of others. And it can sustain us in our own trials and sufferings for our Lord.
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.