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Easter 2016 “The Kingdom Has Come”

Fr. Joel God & Faith

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” Jesus (Luke 4:18)
For generations Israel waited and hoped for a new King. He would be a son of David anointed by God (‘the Christ’) to establish a new Kingdom on earth (Isaiah 11:1-10). For three years Jesus had been preaching and teaching. Angels had sung at his birth and wise men traveled far to honor him. He healed the sick and even raised the dead. Was he the promised Messiah? Their hope died on Calvary. He was buried in haste and the tomb was locked and guarded. But it was not over. Women came to embalm him on Easter Sunday morning and found an empty tomb. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!

What difference does the Resurrection make? The Romans kept oppressing the Jewish people and the rich and powerful were still exploiting the poor and weak. People were still looking for hope and healing and true love. To those who rejected Jesus, nothing changed. But His followers realized that the Kingdom of God had come to them. Jesus is the true King, and God had sent him to earth on a rescue mission. His mission was to rescue us from the most ancient enemy of all: sin and death. These had entered the world when our first parents rejected God’s Lordship. Try as we might, we couldn’t stop the spread of evil. The whole human race became victims of fear and violence, of anger and hopelessness.

Jesus came to cure us. The cure is as simple as the Original Sin. We must accept, instead of reject, Jesus as the King of all time. He wants to take our sinful past upon his shoulders and nail it to his cross. His kingship extends into the past and into the future. We do not have to worry about what will be. We are given only the present. It is a gift, but a gift to be given back to God. Each moment we let Jesus be Lord, we enter into the Kingdom of God. You enter His kingdom as he enters your mind and heart. Jesus’ followers begin to live without sin, without death, without worry about the future or the burden of the past. To serve this King is to find true freedom.

After 2000 years we may be tempted to doubt the power of the Savior. The rich and powerful are still exploiting the poor and weak. People are still looking for hope and healing and true love. But the blood of Jesus isn’t dry. The power of Jesus has not dimmed. It is even more fresh and powerful than when he first walked the earth. All that is missing is us. Our world only changes to the degree that we accept the King. The more we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, the more we enter the peace and joy of His Kingdom. Today the true Lord, Risen from the dead, invites you into His Kingdom. Come Lord Jesus!

“Yesterday is history,
tomorrow is a mystery,
today is a gift of God,
which is why we call it
the present.”Bil Keane