He Has Risen Indeed!
It’s Easter. The most important day in the Christian calendar. We’re past the Upper Room Passover dinner, the journey to Pilate and the cross, the crucifixion of Jesus and are at the most incredible part of the story – the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus. It is this event that separates Christianity from every other religion on earth.
If you have ever attended church on Easter, you recognize the title of this post. That’s because the traditional greeting at the opening of the service, in response to the pastor’s proclamation that “Christ has Risen” is “He as Risen indeed!” Because we travelled today, we attended church on Saturday evening and were privileged to attend a wonderful Easter service. The message was terrific – about the one who has risen…
Who is this “He?” After all, we all know who Jesus was. Born a man, but fully God and part of the Godhead – the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He was Jesus of Nazareth – born in a manger, human Son of Mary, husband of Joseph. He was of the line of David and was a carpenter by trade. He had a remarkable ability to influence people to follow Him and summoned fisherman, a tax collector and others to become His closest band of disciples – travelling throughout the countryside proclaiming that the kingdom of God was near. It was the amplification of the message that John the Baptist had preached after appearing in the wilderness more than 400 years of silence from God at the conclusion of the Old Testament.
From the age of twelve, Jesus interacted with the rabbis at the temple. He had an uncanny knowledge of the Torah and was unwavering in His loyalty and commitment to the will of God – His Father.
But that was the human Jesus – what changed at the resurrection? Well, for one, it was made apparent that not only was Jesus fully human – He rose from the dead. In fact, in the original language, the tense of the Greek leads us to believe that He resurrected Himself! That’s right – He raised Himself from the dead. In other passages of the Scripture, there are referencing to being raised by God the Father and also by the Holy Spirit. While some people may consider these things to be contradictions, it is necessary to remember that they are all God – so the references are merely confirmations that God is in fact a Trinitarian God.
The resurrection confirms that Jesus is in fact the Christ – the Jewish reference is called the Messiah. The one who we have been waiting for – the anointed one – the one who has been promised to us. The events surrounding the crucifixion confirm that Jesus is in fact the Messiah. His commitment to the will of the Father, His death and resurrection confirm His status as the Christ.
Finally, He is our Lord. That means master – sovereign, king – and every other reference to the ultimate God that you can read throughout the Bible. And that means that we are to submit – no – make that surrender our lives to Him. Not a little bit of submission mind you – the whole enchilada. That means total commitment and surrender to the one who is risen – Jesus Christ our Lord. And that is the whole purpose of Easter. To proclaim Jesus Christ our Lord and to celebrate His triumph over death on a Roman cross.
The verse for this Easter evening is the one used in church this week-end. It is the opening greeting in Paul’s book to the Romans. We are told in Romans 1:1-4, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Paul, one of the apostles, who claimed to be taught by Christ Himself after he had been struck blind on the road to Damascus, leaves no doubt that Jesus is the Christ. We are to submit to the Messiah – the chosen one – our Lord. My encouragement this evening is that the death of Jesus on the cross was the largest sacrifice ever made for mankind. He made that sacrifice for you and for me – that we may be able to return to a forgiven state with God. That means that we can spend eternity with Him. My prayer is that you will answer the summons on your life that Jesus Christ our Lord wants you to submit your total life to Him – and that it will cost you living your life the way you want. There’s more at stake here. The decision has eternal consequences. So the next several days are a great time to decide if you wish to re-dedicate yourself to Christ.
Because He has Risen indeed! Have a a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…