This Easter is unlike any many of us have experienced before. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we rejoice that our hope is not in circumstances, but in a person: Jesus Christ, our risen Lord! We pray that this video message will encourage and strengthen you in hope—something that we, and the world, desperately need in these trying times. Please feel free to share it with your friends and networks.

 

Transcript of the video message

Hello, beloved brothers and sisters all around the world!

My heart goes out to each and every one of you in every nation on earth. As I look daily—really multiple times per day—at the list of COVID-19 cases, I see faces, not numbers.

I see the devastation in Spain and I think of brother Jaume Llenas. I read of the pains of Italy and I think of Rene and Sarah Breuel and their young boys playing football inside their apartment in Rome. I read that 10,000 Africans have now been infected with the coronavirus, and I think of Stephen Mbogo and African Enterprise. Behind every number is a face, a soul; maybe a brother or sister in Christ, or someone who is one heartbeat away from an eternity in hell.

I wonder what faces you see. Perhaps you see elderly family members, so vulnerable to this vicious virus. Perhaps you see the face of someone you know who has lost their life or is battling for their life right now. And even if you do not currently know someone suffering from the coronavirus, you likely will in the coming weeks.

But you don’t face this global pandemic alone. Even in our social isolation we are more intimately and powerfully bound together as the global body of Christ than can even be imagined. And that is because we are bound by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is that shed blood that we celebrate this Good Friday. It is that hope that we celebrate this unforgettable Easter Sunday.

Hope is such a powerful word for all humanity. “I hope a cure will be found.” “I hope things will return to normal soon.” “I hope that schools will re-open eventually.” “I hope that the worst is behind us.” “I hope that our kids don’t kill each other during this lock-in!”

These words of hope are on the lips of every person in every nation every single day. And we mourn that so many hopes on the hearts of so many around the world are Christ-less hopes. That is why there is urgency for us as the people of God to share hope with every person in every nation on earth.

Hope is why we celebrate Easter as the people of God in every nation on earth. Hope is our celebration. Hope is our mission. Yes, we have some wishful hopes, like, What’s the first thing you want to eat when you can get out of your home? No doubt these challenges have sanctified us of some of our superficialities! Yes, we have some agonizing hopes, like is my friend in the hospital all alone right now going to make it?

But we also, in Christ, have enduring hope; persevering hope; victorious hope; eternal, everlasting hope. Our hope is not in circumstances, in what is happening or might happen one day. Our hope is in a person: Jesus Christ, who rescued us from sin—not just sin out there, but in here; who rescued us from death, so that even in dying, we enter into life eternal. Our hope is in the resurrection, that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead, victorious!

So brothers and sisters, people of God around the world: Let’s persevere in hope. Let’s pray together in hope. Let’s share hope.

Happy Easter! The Lord is risen!

Michael Oh serves as the Global Executive Director / CEO of the Lausanne Movement. Michael and his family served as missionaries in Nagoya, Japan, from 2004 to 2016. There he founded a ministry called Christ Bible Institute (CBI), which includes Christ Bible Seminary, the Heart & Soul Cafe, and a church-planting ministry.

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