Dose of Truth

The hope of Easter

Picture of Tim Richards

Tim Richards

March 27, 2024

Popular author Jim Cymbala became pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in 1971. He once wrote about a particularly busy Easter which left him both fulfilled and exhausted. At the end of multiple services, he sat down on the edge of the platform and loosened his tie before noticing a disheveled dirty homeless man on the third row who seemed eager to talk.

Despite his exhaustion he asked the man’s name. He replied, “David.” “How long have you been on the street?” “Six years.” “How old are you?” “Thirty-two.” David had matted hair, a missing front tooth and looked 52. The weary pastor offered him a few dollars but he replied, “I don’t want your money. I want this Jesus, the one you were talking about, because I’m not going to make it. I’m going to die on the street.” When Cymbala realized how desperately David wanted to change he began crying and soon both men were weeping.

God changed David that night; he became a committed Christian and began memorizing scripture. The church found him a place to live, gave him a maintenance job and even fixed his teeth. David spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at the pastor’s home.

A year later, David shared with his church the moving testimony of how God had changed his life. Cymbala was moved by the testimony and became convinced this formerly homeless man would become a preacher. A few years later, on Easter, David was ordained and became a pastor.

Easter changed David’s life, and the first Easter changed the lives of Jesus’ earliest followers. During three and one-half years of Jesus’ ministry, they became convinced he was the Messiah and fulfilled God’s promises. It is no surprise Jesus’ crucifixion shattered their dreams and left them stunned, overwhelmed and confused.

Then, early on the first Easter morning, some of the women who followed Jesus went to the grave to anoint his body with spices. There an angel informed them, “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there…” (Matthew 28:6-7, NLT)

Though hesitant at first to believe the women, Jesus’ followers’ hope returned when he appeared as promised. Two thousand years later an amazing Easter sermon inspired David to believe there was hope for him, too.

Jesus’ resurrection offers each of us hope, in spite of how hopeless our situation may appear. If God can restore life three days after death, he can give you and I hope, no matter what challenges we face. May you, like David and the early disciples, be filled with the hope of our Risen Savior this Easter!

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at