Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!
The world calls today Easter Sunday; the Church names it the Festival of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus.
For hundreds of years, the Church has observed our Lord’s Resurrection on this day the pagan people of Europe had dedicated to Eostre, the mythical goddess of Spring. In so doing, the Church celebrates the new life that Jesus offers to each one that believes He rose from the dead. This has created controversy between Church and the world over what we celebrate today.
Some have suggested that it’s time to retire the word Easter (from Eostre) from our vocabulary and to replace it with the Festival of the Resurrection of our Lord. As for me, I try to do this consistently when I speak and write. I believe Christians want a holiday for celebrating more than just the resurgence of natural life—the greening of trees and the flowering of bulbs—that always comes each Spring. I believe we want to grow in becoming better witnesses of Christ’s resurrection. I believe this should be our bottom line and our daily purpose.
For, truly, it makes little difference what name we call today. What matters is the effect of Christ’s resurrection upon and within us. In my years as a pastor, I have heard many arguments regarding the resurrection that were purely academic, just to establish a position as to whether Jesus did or did not actually arise; and once the discussion had concluded, to go on with life as though the conclusion did not change how we conducted our life. Now, I want to speak about me.
Even though I ardently believe and have preached that Jesus did rise from His grave on the third day, I confess that so little changed in me afterward. What about you? Let’s ask ourselves, “What Difference Does the Resurrection Make?”
The New Testament tells the difference that faith in Christ’s resurrection made in a godless and pagan world as the Holy Spirit called believers to saving faith. And, the Word of the Lord grew. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran t tell His disciples. Suddenly Jesus met hem. "Greetings," He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me." Matthew 28:1-10