Maybe Easter is a comma for you; a time to pause and reflect. Maybe you would choose a period. The day began as a period for the disciples of Jesus. He was dead and buried and all their hopes and dreams died with Him; it was over, period. But wait , news comes of the empty tomb; the period is no longer a period, it’s a question mark. But that’s worse than a period because now there is doubt. Where is he? The guards are gone, the stone is rolled away, the tomb is empty but Jesus is not there. If not there, then where?
An angel speaks--Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words. (Luke 24:5-6)
The question marks are removed; there is just one massive exclamation point! That’s what Easter is an exclamation of gratitude and praise because…because He is Risen!
Jesus said: I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! (Revelation 1:18)
He is risen! This is the greatest cause for celebration and joy for the Christian; knowing that our Redeemer lives! In fact, only those who know this truth have any cause whatsoever to celebrate at Easter. In the words of Job: I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. (Job 19:25)
The resurrection is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises; it the very foundation of our faith!Paul would write: If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith...But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead! (1 Corinthians 15:14, 20)
Because He lives, we also have life; life eternal. Jesus said: I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. (John 11:25-26) It’s the resurrection that gives to us this hope of life eternal! Christ has triumphed over sin and death and the grave!
As the churches in Oliver gather for a community celebration, I want to invite you to join the celebration; to lend your voice in the great chorus of praise for 'He is risen'!
On the Easter Sunday just before he died William Sangster painfully printed a short note to his daughter. A deeply spiritual man, he had been spearheading renewal movement in the British Isles before his ministry (expect for prayer) was ended by a disease which progressively paralyzed his body even his vocal chords. The last Resurrection Sunday he spent on earth, still able to move his fingers, he wrote: How terrible to wake up on Easter and have no voice to shout...He is risen! Far worse, to have a voice and not want to shout.