Freedom New Mexico: Liliana Castillo Trinity Lutheran Church Reverend Bonita Knox prays while touching the cross on Good Friday at the church.
Easter means an almost universal message from spiritual leaders of many different congregations.
Church leaders in Clovis and Portales say the resurrection of Christ is the most important factor in the Christian faith, because it is a representation of what the Christian faith is all about.
“This is the time to remember that Christ was the Passover lamb and he passed over from death into life,” said Bonita Knox, pastor of Trinity Lutheran in Clovis. “And where there is forgiveness of sin, there is life and salvation.”
Knox said for her Easter sermon, she will be focusing on the significant representations behind where Christ lay throughout his life, starting with the manger at his birth and ending with the tomb after his death.
“Sunday, I’m focusing on the Matthew text. What I liked about that is the women go to the tomb and there is an earthquake then the angels roll the stone away and Christ is not there,” Knox said. “I got to thinking about where Jesus has laid before.”
Scott Seymore, pastor of Trinity Methodist Church, said the significance of Easter Sunday is that individual Christians are coming together to celebrate their salvation through the blood of Christ.
“It’s basically about the transformation relationship with the resurrected Christ,” Seymore said. “He died and rose again so that we could have a new life.”
Father Jim McGowan of St. Helen Catholic Church in Portales said what Easter means to him is God keeps promises.
“In the Old Testament, people had blood covenants by using animals. Here we have a whole new covenant of a whole new blood,” McGowan said. “No longer is God far apart but he’s close to our hearts. Because of the resurrection, we have new and everlasting life and the first fruits of salvation.”
McGowan said he will be putting emphasis on new life and transitioning from light to dark in his Sunday sermon.
“First and foremost, the emphasis is on the empty tomb,” McGowan said. “They looked for him with the dead but he was among the living. The darkness has now passed and the world is now illuminated.”
Jon Forrest of First Christian Church in Clovis said his congregation will be having a musical re-enactment of the life of Christ Sunday morning.
“The resurrection of Christ is the greatest news ever known,” Forrest said. “Without the resurrection, there would be no point in considering a second coming. Because he has risen, we too will rise. We know that death is not the end for us.”
Emmanuel Baptist Church Pastor Walter Huber of Portales said he feels the words spoken by the angels at Christ’s tomb are some of the most powerful ever spoken: “He is not here; he has risen.” He said those words sum up the Christian faith, because the resurrection is the reason Christians do not have to fear death.
“Without a living savior, we have nothing,” Huber said. “All of our hope for this life and the next relies on that. It is the basis of our faith.”
He said his congregation will celebrate Easter with a cantata, which includes songs by the church choir and a silent drama interpretation of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.