For the first time ever, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider celebrated Easter with a global congregation via a live broadcast, from the premises of Bischoff Publishers on 12th April 2020, in Neu-Isenburg, Germany. He was assisted by Bishop Kramer.
The Church leader used the text Revelation 1: 17b–18: “…Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
The special bible reading was taken from John 20:11-20.
Faith and trust in crisis. “As Christians we trust in God and let ourselves fall into the Hands of God” said the Chief Apostle in his introduction. Corona virus is not a sign of the end time nor punishment from God. “Our God is a God of love, not a God to punish man” he stressed.
The resurrection; a source of love, peace and joy. The resurrection of Jesus brought joy and peace to the disciples. They realised God was with Jesus and even more, Jesus is God. Seeing the marks of His crucifixion, they were reminded of His promise that His blood would be shed for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus also had a new form of life, not bound by time and space. “His resurrection predicts our resurrection” said the Chief Apostle.
Fellowship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Due to the work of the Holy Spirit, we can experience the closeness of the Lord even behind closed doors. Even in our situation today, the Spirit gives us peace and joy. The Spirit tells us Jesus lives and He is God. “He is love, He is close to the people. He is on the side of the weak ones and gives grace.”
The first of the new creation. Jesus is the first true man to receive a new body to enter the kingdom of God. Through baptism with water and the Spirit, He has given us part of His life to be able to receive this new body. If we remain faithful to Him, we can experience resurrection and receive this new body.
Partaking in the power of Christ. Our belief in Jesus Christ frees us from our tribulations and sufferings, to receive the peace of God, strength and joy in Jesus Christ. He said: “When we work with the words of Jesus Christ, we can taste the powers of the age to come.”
Keys of death and Hades. The Resurrected has the keys of death. God also cares for the salvation of the dead and so physical death cannot hinder salvation. Jesus also has power to redeem people from Hades, a state where people are separated and distanced from God. “Nobody is damned eternally, everyone has the chance to come into the kingdom of God.”
Power over Heaven and Earth. The Risen One has power over heaven and earth. He gave this power to the Apostles’ ministry. The Church leader said: “Through the Apostles’ ministry we receive everything we need for our salvation. It is our joy and comfort.”
Our future, joy and security: “The Risen One will keep His word, He will return” concluded Chief Apostle Schneider, “Those who remain faithful will be resurrected. We will enter into His kingdom. This is our future, this is our joy that makes us safe.”