Easter = Resurrection (April 2018)

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
All creation, join to say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply: Alleluia!

It isn’t about plastic grass or rabbits. It doesn’t have anything to do with colored eggs or jelly beans. No matter how fun these things are, Easter doesn’t really have anything to do with them.

Easter is about the suffering, death, and especially the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every year, we celebrate what happened to Jesus, and what Jesus did on Easter morning.

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

The people of the early Christian church believed in the Resurrection. They didn’t understand a lot of things, and they argued endlessly about matters which we might not bother with today. There was one thing, though, on which they agreed: Christ rose from the dead. The Jesus who they knew had been killed was alive again.

The apostle Paul had a knack for putting things on the line. In a letter to the church at Corinth, he wrote: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is vain…” (I Corinthians 15:14). That is a blunt but accurate statement of what the early Christians believed. Without the resurrection of Christ, everything else collapses. They would not have had the strength to witness and suffer for their faith without it.

The earliest followers of Jesus saw him after he rose again — they were literally witnesses to the resurrection. They had known Jesus beforehand, as he taught and travelled and healed. They had seen him put to death by the Roman soldiers. And then. . .

. . .then they started meeting Jesus! They met him in the garden, in the upper rom, along the road to Emmaus, at the sea side in Galilee, in and around Jerusalem. The unanimous witness of all four gospels and the book of Acts is that people met Jesus.

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Whatever you believe about Easter – whether it is something you celebrate, or whether it challenges your faith in the love and power of God – take time this week to re-read the Easter story in the gospels. Ask yourself what it means to you. Because in the light of the resurrection of Christ, the whole world has changed.

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

 – Josh Brown

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