On Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead. While Easter is an incredible apologetic to the non-believing world, it is also the foundation of Christian unity.
The past year has been full of suffering for Christians across the world, but this week serves as a timely reminder of our eternal hope in Christ. This year, we watched as the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government, Russian forces invaded Ukraine, and tensions between China and Taiwan intensified
As Christians across the world gather this weekend, we ought to remember how Easter unites the global church around the gospel.
How the Resurrection Unites Us
As Paul emphasized in 1 Corinthians 15, if Christ did not rise from the dead, our faith would be in vain. There would be no salvation at all (1 Corinthians 15:17). Indeed, the resurrection of Christ is the victory we receive through the gospel over death and sin. This monumental victory unites Christians around the world as we are all justified by faith through this act.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). This unity is formed and cultivated by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in us,the very same power that resurrected Christ from the dead.
How Students Experience this Unity
Serena Onwuka, a college student living in the United Arab Emirates, notes,
The resurrection of Christ unites Christians globally in that it gives us hope of being united with Christ after this world passes. It reminds us that the Spirit enables us to continually fight sin, as sin’s sting, death, has been defeated by the resurrection of Christ.
Serena is originally from Nigeria but has been blessed by a multicultural church in Dubai that brings people together around the gospel. Moises Castillo, a missionary serving in West Africa, makes a similar observation:
Christ’s resurrection unites every Christian because it reminds us that no matter how different the church might be we are all saved by Jesus who conquered death, and in him, we are all one no matter our cultural differences our languages we believe in the Resurrected King that conquers sin and death!
Castillo spent most of his life in Panama but moved to West Africa a few months ago. While living in West Africa, he has been exposed to vast cultural differences from his home culture. Yet, he finds himself encouraged by the unity that he has with these believers.
How the Resurrection Gives Us Hope
The resurrection gives us the assurance that we have been made right with God by virtue of the atoning death and imputed righteousness of Christ. This grants us communion with God through the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life.
In a world stricken by war and division, this truth gives us hope because it points to the heart of God, to the love of God. If God did not spare his Son for us and give us new life, then regardless of what’s happening in the world, nothing will be able to separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38–39). We may not understand it, but in everything, God is with us.
“We can have hope that death does not have the ultimate power. Jesus conquered death, and we are not afraid of whatever earthly problems we might encounter,” Moises Castillo said.
Even as war wages in Ukraine, God’s people are reminded that this world is not our home. The resurrection seals God’s victory over the evil one. This is the very hope that unites us.
How the Death of Christ Teaches Us About the Christian Faith
Closely connected to the resurrection is the death of Christ. There is plenty to glean from his death, but we shouldn’t miss the fact that it teaches us that the Christian faith is founded on grace.
Christ died in our place while we were sinners (Romans 5:8). A righteous substitute to save a rebellious people. It is by the grace of God that we are called children of God, and it’s this same grace that should lead Christians to be gracious to one another and to love as God loves.
John Piper notes, Jesus’ death is both guilt-bearing and guidance-giving. It is a death that forgives sin and a death that models love. It is the purchase of our life from perishing and the pattern of a life of love. This reminder of Christ’s love should motivate us as Christians to love one another. One way we can actively walk in Christ’s love is to pray for and encourage one another.
How Can We Pray for One Another During Easter
As we are reminded by the unique way that Easter unites the global church, we should look for ways to pray for Christians around the world. We asked young adults from across the world how the global church could be praying for Christians in their country.
How Can We Pray for Asian Churches
As Ramadan continues, Evan Ansary, a Christian in New Dehli, asks for the global church to pray that Hindus and Muslims in India would come to know the love of Jesus this month. Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world will be spending time in prayer and fasting. Pray that the Lord reveals himself to them during this time.
Serena Onwuka, a Nigerian college student living in Dubai, asks for us to pray that the church in the United Arab Emirates would be reminded of Christ’s power working in them as they continually fight sin. She asks us to pray that they would remember that salvation is not something we earn but is a gift from God.
How Can We Pray for European Churches
In France, the presidential election is heading to a run-off election. Christela Gaspard, a French college student, encourages believers to pray for wisdom and unity among the French people and their leaders. Currently, the French people are heavily divided on political issues such as inflation and immigration. Pray that the Lord would unite the church in France around the gospel during a contentious season.
Ruth Ngombo, a German student, prays for the German church to be marked by humility and wisdom. Ruth shared how the church in Germany is often divided across ethnic lines. She asks believers to pray that the German church would demonstrate more love toward their neighbors.
How Can We Pray for African Churches
Yasmine Mamboleo is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She asks for prayer for the church in the DRC to remember that Jesus was a suffering King, one who modeled suffering well. Unfortunately, many in the church follow Jesus because they think the gospel is about living an easy, comfortable life. Pray that their hearts would be opened to realize that our salvation has come through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
How Can We Pray for North American Churches
Joshua Escalona, a Panamanian engineering student, asks for us to pray for more young believers in Panama to live on mission. Pray for churches to show the true love of Jesus to those who are impoverished.
Witt Thomas of Nashville, Tennessee, asks for Christians to pray for the American church during Easter by asking that the gospel might come alive in hearts in a new and joyous way. We can pray that each believer would recognize that Jesus came, lived, died, and was resurrected—and he still lives! We can pray that the church is purposeful and intentional in preaching this message.
In a world full of shifting opinions, violent outbreaks, and persecution, we have a faith that stands on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. No matter where we are or the circumstances we face, the hope of Christ’s resurrection reminds us of a love so great that it can unify people even amid its greatest differences.