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Doomsday anxiety, Easter and the death of death

Crucifixion and resurrection. He is Risen. Empty tomb of Jesus with crosses in the background and cinematic lighting. Easter or Resurrection
Crucifixion and resurrection. He is Risen. Empty tomb of Jesus with crosses in the background and cinematic lighting. Easter or Resurrection | iStock / Getty Images Plus/LumerB

Have you ever been in a situation so bleak that it seemed as though it would never change? Maybe you had things going wonderfully in your life, and then suddenly you were hit with a severe illness or the loss of a loved one. You didn’t know how you were going to get through it.

Researchers have found that disappointment is one of the most challenging emotional experiences. An article from The Cut pointed out that “the feeling is inextricably linked with the brain chemical dopamine.”

When something good happens to you, dopamine is released. You get almost an emotional rush. Or maybe something exciting is coming, like your birthday. So, you post it on social media, but no one acknowledges it. First, you get the double dopamine rush, and then you experience the double downer afterward. It’s an actual chemical reaction ushering in disappointment.

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A lot of things can happen to cause us to feel that way. Maybe something traumatic happened in your family.

Many in America and around the world are filled with stress and anxiety, which is understandable because of the pandemic, inflation, and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Add to these threats those from Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia to use nuclear weapons on the West.

Psychologists have even coined a new phrase, “Doomsday Anxiety.” This includes the fear or worry about the end of the world of life as we know it.

It's time to look up!

Spring is a time for rebirth and rejuvenation, and let's remember what Easter is all about.

When Jesus died on the cross, he conquered sin.

When Jesus rose again from the dead, He defeated death!

Death died when Christ rose. Easter was the death of death. As one person wrote, “Death used to be an executioner, the resurrection just makes him a gardener.”

Of all events in history, there’s none more significant than the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. When Jesus came to this earth, lived a perfect life, died a perfect death, and rose again from the dead, He changed everything.

This selfless act was for me, for you, for everyone.

Imagine the disappointment the disciples felt when Jesus was murdered and taken away from them. But He promised that He would rise from the dead.

The women who went to the tomb together to anoint His dead body were not expecting to see a risen Lord. But an angel told them, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body” (Mark 16:6 NLT).

Jesus changed everything. That’s the meaning of Easter and the reason for my unshakeable hope.

The resurrection of Jesus teaches us our hope goes beyond the grave.

Jesus took death on and defeated it. When Jesus came back from the dead, hope came with Him. This hope is for everyone, especially the broken.

Jesus rose in an actual body in a physical world in a tangible way.

The Bible tells us, “But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So, you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man” (1 Corinthians 15:20–21 NLT).

The resurrection of Jesus assures me:

  • I am accepted by God. Romans 4:45 says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
  • I have all the power I need to live a Christian life. Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
  • I will live forever in Heaven and receive a new body like His. Colossians 3:4 assures us with these words. “When Christ, who is our life, appears, you shall be like Him.”
  • I will have resurrected relationships. “Since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

Greg Laurie is the pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California and Hawaii and Harvest Crusades. He is an evangelist, best-selling author and movie producer. “Jesus Revolution,” a feature film about Laurie’s life from Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company, releases in theaters February 24, 2023.

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