On Easter Sunday, Chongyi Church in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province held three Sunday services with Communion, the very first in-person Holy Communion services of the church since the last Spring Festival.
The second service in the morning was a music worship. Although it began much earlier than the usual service time, many believers were already waiting in the small square in front of the church. At 9.40, the first service ended. After a sterilization procedure was done in the church, believers with appointment cards began to take temperature measurements to enter the church. Those who had not made an appointment earlier could also make an appointment on the spot.
The choir sang four hymns, namely, "Rejoice and Celebrate", "Amazing Love", "Jesus, the Desire and Joy in My Heart", and "The Past, Present and Forever Christ".
In a sermon titled "Empty Tomb - Living Lord". Pastor Zhang Zhongcheng preached that people had been questioning the truth of Jesus' resurrection from the past until now, and the empty tomb of Jesus as a historical evidence has already proven the resurrection of Jesus. So the focus of believers should be on the resurrected Lord Jesus.
"It is recorded in the Gospel of John Chapter 20 that Mary saw the Lord but did not recognize him. Mary was very familiar with the Lord Jesus, so why could she not recognize him? Because the Lord she knew was the Lord before the resurrection. Mary, who shed tears because of the empty tomb, felt that the Lord wass dead and never expected the resurrection of the Lord. So she cannot recognize Jesus when she sees him," the pastor said.
Later, when Mary recognized the Lord Jesus, the Lord said to her, "Do not touch me", hoping that Mary would have a new understanding of him. All along, Mary's understanding of Jesus was the visible and tangible Jesus. However, after Jesus resurrected, she was reminded that she could no longer view and believe Jesus from the previous perspective. What the resurrected Jesus desired to give Mary was the power of the Holy Spirit and the turnover of life, which could not be seen with the naked eye.
"Therefore, believers should have a new understanding of the Lord," Pastor Zhang reminded the congregation, "that is, through the resurrection of the Lord, the invisible life, the eternal life, starts not after death but when people are alive."
"The resurrection of Jesus gives people a brand-new style in which one can live a resurrected and eternal life, so that people's lives can be more exciting, more glorious, and reversed," he concluded.
After the sermon, the church held a Holy Communion service.
- Translated by Charlie Li