Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
These are not just words of celebration and proclamation, they are words of faith, of conviction and of belief. This simple call and response dates to the early days of Christianity. When the rest of the world, the powers and authorities, the religious leaders of the day all were saying that Jesus of Nazareth was dead and in a tomb, his followers began to share the good news of Easter morning. The tomb is empty, and Jesus the Christ is alive.
To this day, Christian churches hold their primary day of worship as Sunday because every Sunday is Easter. Each week we are reminded of how this world is broken, filled with sin, and we have all have need for forgiveness. Each Sunday, we are reminded that Jesus is risen, he is risen indeed, and we have the opportunity for new life.
Easter for some comes, but once a year. The focus tends to be on bunnies and chocolate, jelly beans and fake grass. But for followers of Jesus, those who call him Messiah and King, Easter happens each Sunday when we celebrate what he has done for us and how we are now free. We gather for worship on the morning of the day that the tomb was found empty and Jesus began to reveal himself to his followers. Our Easter leads us to Pentecost and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but I’m beginning to get ahead of myself.
Easter is a celebration, not of life, but of resurrection. In Easter, we celebrate being born again. Being given life anew. On Easter, we are reminded how we must die to our sinful nature, so we can live into a Christ-filled nature. Paul writes about this in both 2 Timothy 2:11 and Romans 6:5: “If we have died with [Christ], we shall also be raised with [Christ]” The wonder of Easter, the glory of the season is that as we die to our sinful selves, we are raised into the Body of Christ. Selfishness turns to selflessness. We turn from asking “what is in this for me?” to “How can I help someone?”
The Easter proclamation is not how great we are, but how great God is.
Celebrate this Easter remembering what a great God we serve. Share the good news with someone. Use words if you have to.