Imagine this scene with me: I am home playing with my kids on a sunny afternoon on our deck. We are having a great time doing all sorts of fun and goofy activities together. The time comes to take a break and grab a snack and a drink of water, so we go to find our seats. I settle into one of our patio chairs and my kids nestle into two of their plastic kid chairs that suit their stature and size. Before long, one of them offers me to come and sit in their seat. Such a kind and thoughtful gesture. So, I oblige and try to wedge my body into their chair. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds before I experienced what Goldilocks went through when she sat in the chair of the Baby Bear. Crack! The chair ceases to serve its purpose in life to hold one off the ground. End of story.
Now, I will leave it up to you to decide if this tale is true or not, but the example that it gives us is straight from your middle school science textbooks. It’s Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which boiled down states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
We live this out all the time. Whether we are walking, driving, swimming, you name it. The forces around us are creating these chain reactions from our actions. Stemming out of this natural law comes another understanding, which also fits our unfortunate example from before: the “law” of cause and effect. The force of that tiny plastic kid’s chair stood no chance when met with the force of my body bearing down on it. It tried with all of it’s might to push up against the force that I was pushing down, but alas, the effect was a broken chair. The cause: too much weight…or not enough common sense…or both…you be the judge.
Now, I use this fictitious illustration to give us a humorous glimpse into another cause and effect that is a daily reality for those of us who belong to the family of God. As we come out of the season of Lent, Holy Week, and the celebration of our resurrected Savior on Easter, we come into contact with the Easter Effect. As a result of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there are present-day implications, outcomes, and reactions in which we now live and operate. Take, for example, the miracle of Easter itself. The force of sin and death that stood in our way of ever having a right relationship and future with God one day left us hopeless and helpless. But when met with the power, authority, and work of Jesus, death and sin stood no chance and buckled under its presence. This leaves us with hope, the promise of new life, and a future with our Heavenly Father. The effect of Easter is everywhere and sets the course of our lives moving forward in this in-between time of Jesus’ return to take us home.
It is in the context of the Easter Effect that we begin a six-week series in the book of Revelation. Much has been made about this letter and many opinions formed on trying to decipher and find contemporary meaning of every nook and cranny of its pages, but the lens through which we will be looking at it is through the lens of Easter. Because Jesus came, died, and rose again to free us from the power of sin and death, we have been given new life to live in the meantime that will culminate in His glorious return at His set time and in His purposed ways.
The book of Revelation was given to us, as believers, to deliver both hope and caution. Revelation was written to give believers comfort that no matter what trouble, hardship, tribulation, or circumstance came their way that would make it seem as though hope was lost, the end has been written and Jesus wins. The wrong is made right, the broken made whole, and peace on earth is fully realized for those welcomed home to be with Jesus forever in paradise. It also serves as a warning to not fall into temptation to the world or culture around us or to be led astray by false teaching and doctrine. It also warns us against being complacent and lazy as we wait. Point being, there are so many good things to gain and glean from its pages and we get the opportunity to do just that in the coming weeks. May our prayer be that the Lord would use the power of His Word to us in Revelation to fill us with a sense of hope, wonder, and trust in what He is doing and will do as He plays out the effect and reality of Easter in our lives today.
Pastor Ben Bigaouette