My beloved in Christ and Friends of RTS:
It is that time of the year when there is a special remembrance on the first day of the week of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we think about this day of days, which we name the Festival of the Resurrection, or Resurrection Sunday, or Easter, we ponder those glorious passages from God‘s Word that speak to the reality of His resurrection and the unfathomable truth of our salvation that addresses the deep longings of the human spirit. We recall passages of Scripture like St. Paul‘s encouragement to all who will receive this Word of life:
Romans 10:8-9—But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
We think of the very words of our Savior who declared that He is the incarnation of our hope for eternal life and the final answer to Mankind’s fear of the grave:
John 11:25-26—Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
It is our joy to recall these truths by way of this short greeting, and to pray that this season, (as all seasons are His seasons, as John Donne reminded us) will be a renewal of the Covenant of grace in your own life, a new sacred encounter with the risen Christ in your own life, and that you and your family (and your church family) will experience the blessed joy of this season again.
RTS continues to celebrate the message of His resurrection by multiplying the preaching of the gospel through our students, alumni, faculty and staff as well as through our many friends who stand with us in this ministry. Consider this message to you an Easter “thank you” for your prayers, and if you support our work financially, for your gifts.
Recently, a good friend of mine looked at the days we live in and bemoaned that there was just no way out of despair. I had to remind him that because of the resurrection, we must be the most optimistic of people—not a false optimism based on a giddy wishfulness—but true reliance on God’s good grace, based on an empty tomb. This is how J.I. Packer put it:
“Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God’s own commitment, that the best is yet to come.”
I like that. “The best is yet to come…” But then again, that is our God-guaranteed destiny.
God bless you and your family now and always. He has risen indeed!
Michael A. Milton, Ph.D.Chancellor/CEO Elect
The James M. Baird Jr. Professor of Pastoral Theology