Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen!

by Pastor Kurt Ebert on April 03, 2023

Christ is Risen!

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was
crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go
quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead…

What does Easter mean to you? What is its importance and significance for your life today?

We certainly may have many things we like about Easter. Some like the powerful hymns and full church services. Some like the beautiful sight and smell of the Easter lilies beautifying the altar on Easter morning. Some like the church choirs or the time in worship and fellowship with family. Some may like the Easter breakfast or the Easter Egg Hunts at this time of the year.

These are certainly all things to enjoy about Easter, but I don’t think that in and of themselves they convey the importance or the meaning of Easter. How might we sum up what Easter means for how we live our lives after Easter Day quickly comes and goes?

Here are a few reflections from others:

  • “Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.” ~ Clarence W. Hall
  • “Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.” ~ N.T. Wright
  • Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, 'Christ is risen,' but 'I shall rise.’ ~ Phillips Brooks

Easter changes things. More than that, Easter changes us. Easter proclaims the fact that the world was changed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Not only does it give us strength and joy for the present, but it gives us hope for the future. In these post-Easter times, we celebrate that we live and move and have our being in God’s grace and love. But even more than that we live in the hope and promise that this world is going somewhere. God has a bigger plan and a bigger purpose towards which He is working. We do not spend our days living in futility of the short time that we have in the broad sweep of time. No, instead we live in light of the eternity that is promised in the new creation, when Jesus brings forth for us and the world a resurrection and restoration.

In the words of N.T. Wright, “Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation,…every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course, every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embrace and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world—all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make. That is the logic of the mission of God. (From Surprised by Hope).

God has big plans for our lives and our futures. He has big plans for this world. Today, we rejoice that today is a new day. And yet, we also know that we wait for the ultimate “new day” when all things shall be resurrected and restored. And so until that time, we as a church have a calling to “Go quickly and tell…” (Mt. 28:7a) We also have a message, “Jesus who was crucified. … is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Mt 28:5b, 6). Let us live out His calling and His mission for our church, as we celebrate the hope that is ours in Jesus.

God’s Peace, Pastor Kurt Ebert