April 9, 2012
The Good Friday service in Dampara Baptist Church, Chittagong, Bangladesh, was packed. Little children sat on the floor in the aisles and across the front of the church. Rows of people stood in the back, craning their necks to see the crucifixion scene as depicted in The Jesus Film.
Weeping and gasps of unbelief could be heard in the shocked hush as Jesus’ crucifixion was depicted on the screen. As the Bengalis watched, they were feeling the agony of Jesus' pain and the disappointment of the disciples.
In that emotional moment, one young boy in the crowded church suddenly cried out, "Do not be afraid. He gets up again! I saw it before."
A small boy's encouraging cry gave new hope to the viewers of the film. "He is risen!" is the cry that gives new hope to all.
The simplest meaning of Easter is that we are living in a world in which God has the last word. On Friday night it appeared as if evil were the master of life. The holiest and most lovable One who had ever lived was dead and in His tomb, crucified by the order of a tyrant without scruples or regrets.
He who had raised the highest hopes among men had died by the most shameful means. A cross, two nails, a jeering mob of debauched souls, and a quick thrust of a spear had ended it all.
Those hours when His voice was stilled and His hands were quiet were the blackest through which the race has ever lived. If Caesar could put an end to Jesus, then no man could ever dare aspire or hope again. Hope, in such a world, could be nothing better than a mockery.
Then came Easter morning and the glorious word: "He is risen!" And evil's triumph was at an end. Since that hour when Mary in the garden first discovered the staggering fact of victory, no man who in his heart has believed in the Resurrection has ever had reason to fear or despair.
Praise God! He is risen!
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