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He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed! Happy Resurrection Sunday! Today is the most joyous celebration for Christians. It is the day we celebrate the empty tomb, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Dr. Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke presents the facts like this:

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ” 8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest (Luke 24:1-9 NIV).

A Christian celebration for sure, we remember that Christ's sacrifice, death, and Resurrection offers all who accept this gift everlasting life. "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ....For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man" Romans 5:17, 21).

This Easter weekend, our world has been rocked by violence at home and abroad. We are horrified by the gruesome, brutal pictures of the death and destruction of Putin's war in Ukraine. We pray to God that these pour souls in Mariupol, Ukraine will be rescued after 48 days of living in destitute conditions. On this Easter weekend, Russia has issued an ultimatum that Mariupol needs to surrender the city to Russian forces.

According to CNN, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the city, which has been surrounded by Russian troops since March 1, has not fallen. Ukrainian troops trapped in the city are holding out against the Russian onslaught despite overwhelming odds. But they are confined to pockets of resistance, and their numbers are unclear.

“There are still our military forces, our soldiers, so they will fight until the end and as for now they are still in Mariupol,” Shmyhal said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

It is obvious that Ukraine has rejected this ultimatum. What does this mean for the people of Mariupol, for the country of Ukraine, and for our world for this future? The threat of nuclear weapons has been looming overhead. Putin has promised that the US will pay the consequences for supporting Ukraine in it's support of finances and weaponry. Russia would not even allow the Red Cross into bring relief to the citizens of Mariupol.

How can Putin be this wicked, who with a straight smile, and speak lies regarding this war being an intervention against Neo Nazis, when President Zellenskyy is Jewish himself? Even worse how could Putin have somehow influenced the Russian Orthodox Church to promote such propaganda as the truth? I guess this should not be such a big surprise when we understand that it was the religious ruling party, the Pharisees, whom Jesus spoke against, that turned him over to be crucified.

On this Resurrection Sunday, I pray for those dear souls who have suffered so much in this war and who continue to stand in the defense for their country. I pray for those who have lost loved ones in this horrific genocide. I pray for those weak souls who may be breathing their last breath, that they will cry out to our Resurrected Savior. It is for all of these that Jesus sacrificed and died. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted" Matthew 5:4. I am most thankful that our Lord and Savior died for all so that they could live forever in Heaven with Him. This life is a journey; it is a nightmare to think that the evil of one man can destroy the lives of thousands because of his greed and corruption. Yes, on this Resurrection Sunday, there is hope! There is hope that those who have been mercilessly beaten and destroyed will yet live again in the next life! Putin can be as cruel and brutal, but he does not get the last word! NO! Our God reigns and one day he will meet his Maker and will give an account of these atrocities. Jesus rose from the dead so that we may have life forever with Him!

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God!

He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 15:55-57

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