Easter Message 2024: God’s agents of transformation

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. —Hebrews 12: 1b-2a

Easter 2024 is here with us. Thanks be to God. Yes, it is time to celebrate the victory over death and the forces of death as the Lord Jesus Christ broke free from the bonds of death and the grave. Yes, we are called to celebrate joyously and proclaim that death and evil do not have the last word—Christ is risen.

As Christians this celebration necessarily is embodied in the time, space, and contexts in which we live in our broken world. Good Friday still comes between now and the glorious Easter morning. We reflect on Easter this year mindful of the Good Friday mood because of all the pain and suffering that surrounds us.

Many families in Israel are in pain because their loved ones kidnapped on 7 October 2023 have not yet been released. Thousands of families in Palestine are grieving because since that October 7, their loved ones have been killed. Meanwhile, exactly 10 years ago, in April 2014, 276 secondary school girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Nigeria, and still more than 90 of them are in captivity, and the world seems to have forgotten them. There are conflicts and wars in other parts of the world compromising the lives of many people. The ravaging effects of the unjust finance and economic architecture that dominates the world today continues to oppress millions of people, and human sinfulness as seen in the irresponsible ways in which we have been poor stewards of God’s creation continue to show in the adverse climate change that we see. These are just a few signs of the contexts in which we live today.

How do we live and witness in this kind of world without being discouraged or without giving up? This is where the message of the victory of Easter comes in. We are called to persevere in our witness, to persevere in the race marked out for us even in this broken world. Ours is a call to be God’s agents of transformation wherever we are and to bring hope where there is despair. We do this most effectively by looking up to Jesus who before Easter went through such horrendous suffering and yet overcoming. That’s Who we look up to. Jesus focused on the mission at hand, and that is what we look up to if we want to persevere in our witness. We do not look up to the agents of the empire of the day who were involved in the crucifying process, or the religious leaders of the day who were only interested in preserving their power, or the crowds in the streets of Jerusalem who wanted to please the powerful of the land whether political or religious and therefore could only shout “Crucify him” (Matthew 27, John 19).

The Good News is that He who went through the horrendous suffering of Good Friday, is the resurrected One we celebrate at Easter. We too participate in Easter this year as we persevere in our witness, embracing the hope of the victory of Easter in spite of Good Friday.

For this year and next year as World Communion of Reformed Churches and its member churches reflect on our General Council theme—Persevere in Your Witness—we can look up to the Lord Jesus Christ who went through the pain of Good Friday for us, and rose in victory over the shackles of death and the domination of evil. Easter gives us hope as we recommit ourselves to the mission God has called to—to be agents of transformation and justice.

On behalf of the President of the WCRC, the Rev. Najla Kassab, the officers, and the Executive Committee as well as all my colleagues in the Hannover office of the WCRC and beyond, I wish you a very meaningful Easter 2024. Persevere in your witness.

Setri Nyomi
Interim General Secretary

Image: Albin Hillert/Life on Earth

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