Why is it that apocalyptic movies, books and video games are so popular right now? Every other day, a new zombie apocalypse video game is being released. Piles and piles of end-of-the-world novels have been written in recent years. The National Geographic Channel airs a show called “Doomsday Preppers,” in which men and women build bunkers and teach their children to fire semi-automatic rifles. The Left Behind seriessold hundreds of millions of copies. Recently, Hollywood has released Contagion, World War Z, Battle: Los Angeles, Oblivion, Pacific Rim and countless other apocalyptic movies. Could there be good news in thinking about Easter and spiritual warfare?
I think one reason the apocalypse is such a popular theme is that it doesn’t require a big stretch of the imagination. Face it: Life is really, really hard, people can be really, really bad, and it often looks like the world is falling apart. Russia is invading Ukraine. BP is pumping millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. A young man walks into a school and kills 20 young children. A friend gets cancer. A child is diagnosed with autism. We are constantly teetering on the edge of the apocalypse as it is.
The utter pervasiveness of evil is why Easter is such a precious holiday. Easter isn’t about candy, Sunday dresses, ham dinners or Easter egg hunts.
Easter is about the Son of God declaring a Holy War on Satan and evil.
1 John 3:8 says, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” When I read that verse, something surges within me. My heart says, “Yes! Finally! I cannot overcome the devil, but Jesus can, and has! Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He came to obliterate evil. He came to crush sadness. He came to restore all that was lost at Eden. Jesus is the Holy Warrior and the sinner’s friend.”
Hebrews 2:14-15 says:
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
Death has been dethroned! Jesus Christ took on flesh and blood, submitted himself to the curse of sin and death, and then destroyed death from the inside out! Death may touch us, but it cannot take us. The stranglehold of death and sin and sadness and sickness and suffering has been broken. It’s not always winter and never Christmas. Spring has come.
Revelation 21:3-4 says:
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
For those of who have trusted in Christ, this is what the end of the world looks like! Jesus Christ, risen from the grave, seated on the throne, will wipe away every tear, every sorrow, every pain. Satan will be vanquished. Death will be extinguished. All the sad, former things will pass away.
Now we are surrounded by death and sadness and pain and mourning. We get migraines and pinched nerves and breast cancer. We battle depression and schizophrenia and anxiety. Our bodies daily betray us. We lose friends and family and even children. We grieve and struggle and stumble our way through life.
But soon, mourning will be replaced by morning. The grave could not hold our Savior. He is risen. He is on the move. He is reigning. And soon he will be returning.
By Stephen Altrogge -April 16, 2019