Ministers: Easter story one of hope

Published 2:40 am Saturday, April 20, 2019

Local religious leaders said there are many lessons from the Easter story, but the predominate message is one of hope. 

“I keep coming back to the Resurrection no matter how long I think about Easter,” said the Rev. David McMillan, vicar of St. Michael’s Anglican Church. “I keep thinking that this life is not the end.”

McMillan said that he will be preaching about Luke 24 on Easter Sunday.

“That is pretty much the Resurrection account,” McMillan said. “Looking at the text, one of the things that I see is that all of the people that heard he had risen thought that it was nonsense. They just didn’t believe it. Even Peter had to go to the tomb himself to make sure that Jesus wasn’t there. We need to be a little more understanding of people who don’t believe or understand, because even the apostles didn’t believe at first.”

Father Bien Nguyen from Christ the King Catholic Church said that Easter is a time to sing hallelujah.

“It is always a joyous and hopeful time for humanity,” Nguyen said. “Because of what Christ has done for us. He has risen and that is truly our hope that we will rise with him.”

Nguyen said that the thing that sets Jesus’ resurrection story apart from anything else is that his tomb was empty.

“We have all kinds of tombs in the world,” Nguyen said. “We have great pyramids in Egypt, that would hold great kings, and we have other great tombs around the world, but they are all occupied. Jesus’ tomb was empty. It was the greatest comeback story of all time. He defeated death and now that gives us hope for life after death.”

For pastor Travis Day from Andalusia Full Gospel Tabernacle, Easter represents life.

“It is not only the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus,” Day said. “But also the newness of life found in Jesus Christ.”

Day said that the message that AFGT has been focusing on all Easter season has been new beginnings.

“If people are looking for a new beginning,” Day said. “Then Easter is a perfect time to do that.”

Without the Resurrection, Day said the cross would have no meaning.

“Without the Resurrection, the cross would still be fearsome,” Day said. “The cross would still be gory, bloody and troublesome. All life comes from the cross now because Jesus sacrificed himself. I thank the Lord for a new life and I thank him for his sacrifice.”

Pastor Daryll Calloway from First Baptist Church Whatley Street said that the cross represents the love of God.

“The cross is a powerful thing,” Calloway said. “When we think about the cross we think about the love of God. When we think about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have hope for all of humanity. No matter what religious background you come from, we all have one thing in common and it is that Jesus rose from the dead.”