Easter Sunday is “Resurrection Day.”
Today we re-enact, retell, and reimagine the unfathomable event on a morning in Israel over 2,000 years ago. In many traditions this day begins the Eastertide festival, a “resurrection party” that goes on for 50 days and culminates in Pentecost – where we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. A woman visits the tomb. A stone is rolled away. Jesus is seen to be alive. The Body of Christ is unleashed in passion, love, and faith on an unsuspecting empire. Throughout this day and the Easter season, we reclaim the saving work of Christ. Death attempted to swallow into its tomb the very Giver of Life – who transformed the tomb into a womb of new creation life. Sin and death have been conquered for eternity – and also in the present. Christ’s resurrection life is at work within us who have said “Yes” to Jesus and are being changed into his likeness. As a bearer of Christ’s resurrection life, one who is a new creation (“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17), you are now commissioned to join God’s great work of righting the world, distributing Jesus’ love, and confronting the powers of our age with the empowering life of Christ in you (Colossians 1:27). This is the kingdom life – the Easter life.
“…The resurrection, both of Jesus and then in the future of his people, is the foundation of the Christian stance of allegiance to a different king, a different Lord. Death is the last weapon the tyrant, and the point of the resurrection, despite much misunderstanding, has been defeated. Resurrection is not the redescription of death; it is its overthrown and, with that, the overthrow of those whose power depends on it” (Wright, “Surprised By Hope”, p.50).
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
Rise with Christ to Life.
CHRIST THE LORD
Is Risen Today! Hallelujah!
Is there a stone in front of your grave that it’s time for Jesus to roll away?
Hear the glorious Easter story in Luke 24:1-6, once again:
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had pre-pared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 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!”
Like the crash of a celestial battering ram, the angel announces that the Lord Jesus Christ has risen to life from the dead! Every hope, every dream, every spoken and unspoken longing of human life on planet earth finds its fulfillment in an empty tomb in first century Palestine. The resurrection of Jesus is the surest confirmation that God not only loves the world, but is making all things new (Revelation 21:5). Triumphing over the enemy of our souls, the devil, Christ has walked, quite literally, to hell and back. What is in his hands at the end of that journey? A souvenir. The keys of death (Revelation 1:18).
The gate is open! Death will not hold us. Jesus has made death’s tomb a womb of everlasting life! In the resurrection, Jesus has put the world to rights after the first Adam welcomed sin into the human story (1 Corinthians 15:45). Living a blameless life, he walked our journey, familiar in all respects with our humanity (Hebrews 4:15). Rejected by humankind (Isaiah 53:3), his love led him to a cross, and in yielding to death he became the Chief Corner-stone (Ephesians 2:20) on which his community of love, the church, is being built.
Rise with Christ this Easter Day.
Welcome him to lift you from the graves that hold you, and to penetrate the darkness of your fear with an enduring confidence that he is truly making all things new.
Join your resurrected Lord in the healing of a broken world, and show everyone Jesus is alive by living “a life of love” — keeping yourself in God’s love as you wait for his mercy to bring you to eternal life (Jude 1:21).
for Easter Sunday
Lord, I choose to rise with you. Lead me.
for Your Easter Reflection
- How will I now live as an heir of Christ’s resurrection life?