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Easter Devotional

At World Relief, we join the global church in celebrating the good news that Jesus has defeated sin and death, that “He is risen indeed!” In this Easter Devotional by Emily Kankindi, a Program Officer with our Developing Countries Unit, she shares how the victory of Jesus brought courage and healing to communities in her home country of Rwanda — and how his power and grace can lead all of us to live transformed and transforming lives today.

Scripture Reading

Begin by reading John 20:1-18.

Easter Devotional Reflect

The one thing that many fear to face and that we have failed to conquer in our human strength is death. Even when we pray for healing, it is often out of a fear of facing death and its consequences!

As the women visited Jesus’ grave early on Sunday morning, they must have felt death was final. Death was the fearful end to the one they loved and in whom they had put their hope.

But praise be to God Almighty for his endless love for us — for he sent his only begotten son, Jesus, not only to come and die for us, but to conquer death and unlock our victory in Him!

From that day, Easter has become a promise that through the death and resurrection of Jesus, all things will be redeemed and made new in him — including our pain, trials and everything that falls short of a perfectly restored wholeness in Christ. As 1 Corinthians 15:26-7 says, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he ‘has put everything under his feet.’”

In my home country of Rwanda, we are painfully familiar with the overwhelming power of death. In 1994, we suffered a genocide against the Tutsi people. In just 100 days, over one million people were killed, leaving families, communities and our nation completely broken. 

And yet, even in the face of death, we heard testimonies of Christian victims who sang and prayed as they were killed. What can give someone that kind of faith in life’s darkest moment? Only the true knowledge, deep in their hearts, that their lives were eternally secure. 

Years later, we have been on the long road to healing, and we still grieve the loss of loved ones. But here, too, our faith makes us strong as we believe that we shall see them again, thanks to Jesus’ promise. We know what the women who visited his grave on Easter morning would also come to know — that because Jesus has already conquered death, we will be with him and those who follow him again.

In his victory, he has secured our futures and gone ahead of us to prepare an eternal home for us. And this miraculous truth should encourage us to share the love of Jesus we ourselves have received with others — because Jesus did not leave anyone out!

Throughout his life, Jesus showed a deep care for the marginalized: women, orphans, widows, the poor, the sick and many others. Even by appearing first to women after his resurrection, we see that he includes those on the margins in his work of spreading the gospel.

Today, we get to be his hands and feet, delivering this good news to people around the world in both word and deed — but always through the strength of Christ and not our own.

As I have served World Relief for the last 18 years, it’s Christ who has given me wisdom and faith to believe in his love for me and for those we serve. It is his power and grace upon my life which inspires me to continue embracing the role I can play in transforming lives and creating lasting change in Jesus’ name. 

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus give me hope and strength that I truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens me — Christ who is my solid rock in times of difficulties and my refuge in times of challenges and pains. 

This Easter, may you also be reminded that what we do here on earth now is part of a story that is already complete. That he has conquered death and that we will be victorious — and that we get to humbly be a part of bringing his hope and victory into the lives of others!


Spend some time praising God for his victory over sin and death. Thank him for the gift of his son Jesus, and for the new life that we have received through him. Thank him for ways you have felt him moving in your life, and continue to ask for his wisdom and guidance on how you can embody the good news of Easter in the lives of others.

At World Relief, we have been bringing the transformative power of Jesus to communities in need for 80 years. Learn more about our work.

Emily Kankindi is World Relief’s Program Officer for Burundi, Kenya and Cambodia with our Developing Countries Unit. Prior to her current role, she served the Knowledge Management & Strategic Partnership Manager at World Relief Rwanda. She started with World Relief in 2005 and has served and grown through various roles. Driven by a mission to serve those in vulnerable situations, she has a passion for sharing stories of impact and inspiring others to care for those in need.

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