Christ is risen from the dead! God’s holy angles continue to announce to us that God has kept His promise to send a Savior. Jesus has been obedient to His Father’s will and accomplished for us what we could never do for ourselves. Jesus has paid the price of sin. He had died. Jesus has given His life as a ransom for all. Jesus was the complete blood sacrifice poured out on the cross for all mankind. In that LOUD voice Jesus trumpeted to all creation from the cross that mankind’s sin has been paid for once for all. Then He gave up His life. At that moment all of us, Jew and Greek, slave and free, Native American and White man, all humanity was forgiven of every sin that would and could condemn us. Jesus was dead, His work was completed. He had glorified His Father and magnified God’s great love for us. Jesus was taken down from the cross and buried, as He said He would be.
But why did He rise from the dead? If the atoning sacrifice for all sin was accomplished by Jesus death what is the purpose of the resurrection?
The resurrection of Jesus is for us, for our assurance. Jesus had prophesied many times that He would die, and along with that promised He would also rise from the dead. St. Mark records one of those promises.” And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days’ rise again”. Mark 8:31 One of the reasons Jesus rose from the dead is to keep His Word to us. Without an eyewitness account of Jesus alive after His crucifixion our doubt would run away with us. It would not take long, and we would be questioning if He died at all, or if our sins were really paid for. Jesus rose because He said He would and to give us absolute physical proof.
Jesus rose on the third day just as He said so that we would know His physical resurrection from the dead means we will physically rise as well. Job points to this physical resurrection when he says, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. Job 19:25-27
Easter Sunday is the day we are centered in the resurrection of Christ and His Victory over sin and death and the devil himself. That great victory of Jesus is also very prominent at another day where the mood is not as joyful. At the beginning of the funeral service we hear these words from St. Paul “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life”. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. Romans 6.
Easter morning and the physical resurrection of Jesus back from the dead gives us hope! When our loved one lies still in front of us resting in death until Christ stands again upon the earth we have absolute proof and promise from Jesus that death is not final. Jesus rose after death had claimed Him. His death became our death to sin declaring us holy, righteous and forgiven. When Jesus rose, He promised that all who are “united in a death like His shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like His!”
Christ is Risen! He has risen indeed! Alleluia! When those words are spoken they remind us of our eternal hope. Jesus has beaten death. Jesus has risen from the dead, vanquishing every enemy that would pull us from hope to despair, from life to death. Hidden within the victory of Jesus over sin and death and the devil is our sure and certain hope that we will rise like Jesus. This body will rise! These eyes will see Jesus! His Victory is truly our victory as well.
A very blessed Easter to you and all your family! Christ has risen, He has risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen!