Celebration of new life and a triumph over death

Easter's eternal spirit feeds two essen tial human appetites: hope and faith. Hope ⊇gives mankind a reason to persevere, even through difficult circumstances. Faith provides the belief of a better life ahead.

Easter is our annual rite of spring, the perfect celebration and remembrance event for those who believe what Scripture tells us happened to Jesus Christ some 2,000 years ago. The world's nearly 2 billion Christians believe Jesus was the son of God.

He preached a message of grace and forgiveness to unbelievers and told them the only way to salvation was to believe in his message.

Jesus then was persecuted and given a death sentence. He was nailed to a cross, died and his body was taken to a tomb.

Scripture tells us his body disappeared but the sprit of Jesus Christ was resurrected and lives forever.

That's what Easter is all about for believers. It's about the joy of eternal life once our earthly existence has ended.

Here on Earth, spring is a season of renewal. Think about that. We are emerging once again from a cold, dark winter. Our High Plains land became barren as the days shortened and the nights grew longer. Now, though, a gradual warming is taking place. Our seasons are changing. Soon, our plains will be green and they'll begin bearing crops for us to harvest.

Yes, no matter how dark or cold or harsh the winter, we have hope for a better day and faith that it will arrive.

That is what Scripture tells us about Easter's meaning, as symbolized by the death and the resurrection of one individual. This is a joyous time for those who believe.

It's a good bet most eastern New Mexicans fall into the category of Christians whose faith is rooted in Scripture, which gives us the basis for the hope and faith we carry with us throughout our lives.

The Gospel of John 3:16 tells us, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Faith gives us hope in that eternal message.

It defines this season.

Happy Easter.

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