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He Is Risen, Indeed!

The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.” —N.T. Wright 

 This Easter, as the weight of the devastating coronavirus crisis continues to bear down, it might be difficult to focus on the true meaning for our celebration. 

And yet, this year more than ever before, we need to be reminded of (and share with others) the HOPE of the Resurrection. The PROMISE of Jesus’ victory over the grave. And the LOVE of our Savior, who faced torture and death to ensure our eternal freedom! 

So, what is it we celebrate at Easter?  

There was a lot of confusion on that resurrection morning. 

A few of the women who followed Jesus made their way to the tomb so they could anoint his dead body with spices—something they hadn’t been able to do on the day he was buried because it was the beginning of the Sabbath.  

They arrived at the tomb to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. The Bible says: 

“While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!’” (Luke 24:4-6). 

The confusion only continued as more of Jesus’ followers were made aware: “When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:9-11). 

Indeed, it would have been very hard to believe.  

They’d seen Jesus die with their own eyes, and dead people don’t walk out of tombs!  

But if someone you loved had died, and then did walk out of their grave—very much alive—it would not be to some ho-hum celebration. It would be to shouts of Hallelujah! Your life would never be the same! 

What is it we celebrate at Easter? The apostle Paul’s answer:  

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.  

After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  

Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). 

What we celebrate at Eastertime calls for a Hallelujah Chorus! 

 My prayer this week  Father, in the midst of the darkness and trouble in our world, will you astonish me again with the testimony of the risen Christ? The grave could not hold Him. He triumphed over death! Will you fill my heart, heavy with the news of sickness, death, and financial turmoil in our world today, with Hallelujahs? Will you give me opportunities to take what I have received—that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again on the third day—and pass it on so more may join the chorus?