Fear Will Not Win
In the past year our world has seen ridiculous amounts of fear and hatred. This time last year we were all experiencing the unknown fear of being locked in our homes for the first time in recent history. We were told to fear the virus, to fear leaving home, fear our neighbor, and to fear our family. Fear pervaded.
Then came hate. In the midst of fear, hate seeped in. Rhetoric that pointed the finger toward Asian countries for the virus had people acting in ways they normally wouldn’t toward their Asian neighbors. It continues today with the unthinkable violence we’ve seen in recent weeks.
Horrific injustice had the Black community reeling. Marches and protests with one side holding signs that screamed “Black Lives Matter” and other sides screaming back with “All Lives Matter” signs that, while true, missed the point entirely of the generations of injustice that has been imposed upon certain races and this only fueled the vitriol.
Hate. Hate for the Asian community for a virus my Chinese neighbor had nothing to do with. Hate toward the Black community for being outspoken about generational injustice. Hate for the white community for the unfair advantage of being born with a certain color of skin.
Hate for people who wear masks. Hate for the people who don’t. Hate for people who stay home in fear. Hate for people who leave home in pride. Hate for the people who vaccinate. Hate for the people who don’t. Hate for Republicans. Hate for Democrats. Hate for each other. Fear of each other.
Then came Cancel Culture. It was there before, of course, but with the fuel of fear and hatred, it was allowed to bloom into a dangerous entity that now has people on edge about everything they say and do. The wrong tweet can get you fired. Standing by your religious beliefs can cause your business to go under.
The “god of this age” is poking the viper’s nest. He’s been laying the foundation for this for decades and it’s going exactly as he planned. He’s laughing while we all flounder in fear and hatred. Our world is a powder keg.
Then comes Easter.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the one-year anniversary of a year full of hatred and fear culminates in the reminder that hatred and fear will not ultimately win.
Today is Good Friday. Today is a dark day. The worst day in history. We sit with the pain and agony that Jesus went through on our behalf. All the fear and hatred throughout all generations is laid upon his shoulders. He absorbed their hatred. He consumed their fear.
But we must always remember that it didn’t end there. It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming. The shattering of the chains of death. We no longer have to be slaves of fear and hate. We have access to a living hope that fills our hearts with love rather than hatred and fear.
Death has lost its grip on us.
He took our punishment. He took our pain. He took our death - and he obliterated it. It all comes down to three small words. Three small words that can change everything. The three most important words in the bible:
He is Risen.
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