Photo by electedstudios on Morgue File.
Resurrection Sunday: (Mt. 28.1, Mk. 16.1-3, Lk. 24.1, Jn. 20.1—The women arrive at the tomb of Jesus around dawn: Mt. 28.2-7, Mk. 16.4-7, Lk. 24.2-7—The women encounter angels and are told Jesus has risen: Mt. 28.8, Mk. 16.18, Jn. 20.2—The women leave, then go and tell the disciples what they have witnessed: Mt. 28.9-10, Lk. 24.8-11—Some of the women are met by Jesus, who tells them to go and tell the disciples and he will meet them in Galilee, the women obey: Jn. 20.3-10, Lk. 24.12—Peter and John rush to Jesus’ tomb and find it empty: Lk. 24.13-35—Jesus appears, in the afternoon, to the two disciples going to Emmaus, then he later appears to Peter: Lk. 24.36-43, Jn. 20.19-23—In the evening, Jesus appears to the disciples, except Thomas.)
It has been a long and stressful week. Observing Holy Week is not for the faint of heart. We have heard the last words of Jesus spoken during his earthly ministry. We have seen him betrayed and abandoned by the very ones who were closest to him. We have seen him mocked and falsely accused. We have heard the shouts of Crucify him echo in our ears. And, we have stood at the foot of the cross, alone on Golgotha’s hill, looking up at a broken and torn Messiah. The silence captured our hearts and minds on Holy Saturday. The night seemed to last forever.
But, the grave does not have the last word. Saturday, by the grace and providence of God, gave way to the dawning of Sunday morning. The darkness retreated and in the eastern sky the rays of a new day’s sun shone forth in dazzling array. This morning has brought with it more than the light on the horizon; it has proclaimed the Light is alive!
The stone has been moved, but not by any mortal hand. God threw back the stone to show his Son was no longer there. The women come to the tomb, expecting more grief and sorrow; instead, they find the message proclaimed again, loud and clear, the message of Gospel (good news), Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!
Just as Pilate had no real authority over Christ, except for what had been granted to him from above, so too death had no authority. What match is death with the Life of all lives? What foe is darkness against the Eternal Light? What of the grave? What of death? It has been swallowed up in victory!
Christ is risen. Christ is alive!
This is Resurrection Sunday. This is the day of victory and triumph. This is the day God crushed sin and death forever. Christ took upon himself the curse of us all, the curse of humankind, he bore that curse and he killed it. In his death he paid the ransom for many. And now, now he is risen, now he is alive forevermore and he has crushed the enemy’s head.
Rejoice! Exalt the name of the Risen Lord. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is alive forevermore! Give him glory, praise and honor. Bow before him and thank him for his great love. Jesus is alive!
It is only right to allow the truth of this glorious day to flood your heart and soul. Meditate on this day, on its message and its power and grace. It is a day of victory. As a believer, it is your victory. As you think about his resurrection, allow the sorrow felt on Saturday to be flooded by the joy of this day.
The apostle Paul, in 1 Cor. 15, argued that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is at the heart of the gospel. If Jesus had merely died and been buried, he would be no Savior. If the gospel message ended with the silence of Saturday, if the tomb of Christ was the great period at the end of the gospel narrative; then, the gospel would be incomplete and insufficient. But, Paul exclaims that Christ has indeed risen from the dead. He is alive! And because he is risen we have hope and our faith in him is secure.
Paul makes the point that just as Christ raised from the dead, so shall we. We too shall be raised and mortality shall put on immortality, corruption shall put on incorruption and we shall live forever with him.
Have you thanked God recently for the gift of salvation? Have you thanked him that Jesus is in fact alive? Have you praised him recently for the glorious truth of the resurrection of Christ from the dead? Even if you have, now, on this Resurrection Sunday, thank and praise him anew. Give glory and honor to Christ as he is the Risen King!
O Christ, my Lord and my God, how I thank you for the glorious good news of your resurrection, which is at the heart of the gospel and is my victory. I thank you that you are not still entombed. I thank you that on that first Easter, you raised from the dead to life everlasting. I praise you, dear Christ, that you have secured for me my inheritance, my salvation. I profess that you, and you alone, are King of kings and Lord of lords. I profess with my mouth and believe in my heart that you are God and Savior. I thank you Jesus for saving me. I pray that I will be a witness for you and your gospel to others, so they too can know you as their Savior and Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, my Savior and the Risen Lord I pray, Amen.
Here is my post from last Easter: https://meanderedwanderings.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/death-be-not-proud-for-i-am-the-resurrection-and-the-life/