The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
This greeting and response will be used right across the world, in every parish church of the Anglican Communion on Easter Day. It is accompanied by proclamations on trumpets, organs, guitars, drums etc. as renditions of wonderful Easter Hymns such as ‘Jesus Christ is risen today’, and ‘Thine be the Glory, risen conquering Son’ mark the end of Lent and the beginning of this wonderful season of celebration.
Though, I can’t help but think, do we really understand the significance of what we are saying and singing? Do we really understand that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, crucified and buried, is risen, is alive?
For the believer this is a life changing phenomenon. It fills us with hope, joy and a sense of expectation and excitement. Why? Because not only is Christ risen from the dead, He promises the same for us. No doubt, with the death and burial of Jesus, the devil thought he had won. However, with the Resurrection of Jesus, the devil has been defeated and the end of life on this world is no longer to be feared.
Paul writes in 1st Corinthians 15:20 “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep”. Why is the resurrection of Jesus described as ‘the first fruits’? It was tradition for the Hebrew people of the Old Testament to take to the temple the first cut of the harvesting of their crops and present it to God. This was their way of saying thank you to God for the promise of more to come. So when the Resurrection of Jesus is described as the ‘first fruits of those who have fallen asleep’, it is acknowledging the promise of resurrection for those who know and love Jesus.
As a result of the events of that first Easter morning, we have nothing to fear. God has promised eternal life to all who put their trust in the Lord Jesus. As the hymn writer Henry Francis Lyte, quoting from 1st Corinthians 15:55 “Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me”.
With this promise in mind, let me encourage you to please accept Jesus as your personal Saviour. Ask Him into your heart, to live there forever. This surely gives a reason to say a resounding Alleluia to the words Christ is risen.
A Happy Easter to you all.