Jesus says: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” John 16, 27 – 30
Futurologists are currently enjoying boom times. What do the experts say about the time after the Corona crisis? How will our lives change? What else will change? What will remain in the same way as it is right now? What consequences does this worldwide pandemic have for our society, for me personally?
In uncertain times, it is common, that people ask themselves these questions. Jesus´ disciples felt the same after Jesus was crucified, died and was buried. How would life continue? Would there be a future at all? Or had life come to a complete standstill? All future plans of the disciples were swept away from one hour to the next. All their future hopes had vanished completely.
Then came Easter morning. And that morning radically changed life: it was not over! On the contrary: a new future had begun. Jesus Christ was alive, he had disempowered death. Eternal life was not a religious fantasy but was visible in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. God's new glory was to be seen in Jesus in reality!
This had consequences! The risen Christ told his disciples and he tells us today: I provide eternal life to all those who belong to me. To belong to him means to belong to the good shepherd the Lord Jesus. Jesus gives the glorious future with God to those who know his voice and listen to him. To those who listen to his voice, listen to his word and follow it through.
The risen Christ tells you and me: “Don´t be afraid! I am the first, the last, and the living one. I died, but now I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys over the death and the world of death.” (Revelation 1, 17 + 18)
That is Easter Joy! The Good Shepherd speaks directly to you: Do not fear! Whatever may come in the times ahead, the Good Shepherd Jesus has all power in heaven and on earth and beyond. And nothing can snatch us from the hand of God. Whatever may darken our lives in the coming days or months or years: the risen Christ is our Lord and He knows us. He knows you and he knows me. He protects you and wants you to reach your goal: eternal fellowship with God the Father. For Jesus knows us and loves us.
The good shepherd leads his sheep into eternal life. Revelation 7, 15-17 shows us the “green meadows” and “fresh water” out of Psalm 23. “Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away all the tears from their eyes.’”
Therefore, at Easter 2020 I want to join in the triumphal song of faith (Romans 8, 38 f): “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”