He Is Risen!
It’s near the end of the day – Easter Sunday, 2016. Many of us have used the traditional Easter greeting – or it’s response, “He is Risen, indeed.” We have gone through Holy Week – starting with Palm Sunday, then moving to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and finally, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ today. For Christians around the world, this is the most holy day of the year – the day that we remember the triumph of Jesus over death and evil – forever.
As Christians, it is vitally important to realize that it was not the death of Jesus that made Christianity special – it was the resurrection of Jesus. Had Jesus not overcome the tomb, Christianity would not have survived. It would have gone the way of so many other religions that worshipped and revered dead leaders. But Christians are different – because we worship a living God – a God who still interacts in our lives on a daily basis.
And to this day, Jesus intercedes with His Father on our behalf – as does the Holy Spirit. This is the most important thing that separates us from all other religions. We have a relationship with the only living God who has overcome death and reigns at the right hand of the Father. Of course, most Christians know all this – and have celebrated this all day – also remembering this important fact throughout the entire Holy Season and year.
So while we may enjoy the Easter bunny, egg hunts and meals of celebration together, keep the real importance of the day in the front of your mind. The Gospels give us the assurance that He is risen – our verse for tonight comes from the book of Matthew. we are told, in Matthew 28:5-7, on the morning of the third day, “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
Each of the four Gospels affirms the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. One of the things that is so interesting in the original Greek is that the translation tells us that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. Another passage tells us that the Holy Spirit raised Him and a third attributes His resurrection to the Father. So there you have it – Jesus was raised from the dead – it doesn’t matter which part of the Trinity did it, or whether they did it together – it was done!
My encouragement this evening is that Jesus wants each of us to revel in His victory over death – the same victory that each of us can have by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives. My prayer is that you will remember the sacrifice of Jesus, and His Father, to bring us closer to Him. By taking on the sins of the world and then overcoming death, Jesus build the bridge to eternal life with God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace. After all, He is risen, indeed!