Easter is always such a beautiful day. There’s always the feeling of the approaching Spring and the soon to be blooming Santa Clara University roses. Life is flourishing all around us no matter what feelings of death, discouragement, or disillusionment we may be have. Life is resilient. It is powerful. With sadness, death, and decay around us, the power of life is still being gloriously displayed for all to see.
Easter is the day we proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ—His resurrection, His defeat of death, His conquering of the grave, His glorification after the humiliation of the Cross, and our own resurrection with Him. We proclaim these truths every day, but Easter provides us with a unique opportunity to recognize these things more deliberately.
One thing that the Church does not proclaim is a figurative resurrection from the dead. We do not suggest that Christ’s rising is simply a mythical story that is mean to represent some sort of spiritual truth. We do not claim that the resurrection is merely a symbol. We proclaim that Christ was literally killed and that, after having been buried for three days, the Holy Spirit brought Jesus back to life. He was fully dead, His spirit having left His body and His body beginning to decay. But God raised Him into new life. This is an historic event that occurred within human history.
Paul speaks about this in his letter to the Corinthians:
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
(1 Corinthians 15:12-19 ESV)
Paul makes it clear: If Jesus Christ did not come back to life, our faith is worthless and we are to be pitied more than all other people for having trusted in Christ. We will be guilty of lying about God if Christ did not come back to life. If Jesus was not raised, neither will we be raised. If Jesus was not raised, we are still dead in our sins. Indeed, if Christ was not raised then we must find some other way of coming to God. We would be hopeless. All people would be hopeless.
But, Christ did come back from the dead. Christ is truly alive. Not only that, but He appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other women, the twelve, and over 500 people at once. His disciples were scattered at His death because of fear, but something brought them back. Something happened. Something changed them. Peter, who betrayed Jesus with his words, would go on to be the Apostles who boldly preached the Gospel. Paul, the persecutor and murderer of Christians, would become the prolific missionary that he was, wholly dedicated to proclaiming that Jesus Christ had returned from the grave to save His people.
And nearly all of the Apostles would be tortured and killed because of their faith. They would suffer their entire lives because of the teachings they were spreading. Was it all for a lie? Did they all die for something they knew to be false?
I don’t think so. And our lives stand as a testimony to the power of the resurrection. We have been given new life by our great God and Savior Who, through the power of His perfect life, death, and resurrection, has saved us from our sins and created us anew. We are new creations because Christ has been restored from the grave. He reigns now at the right hand of the Father and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is bringing about the salvation of all those who He calls to Himself. He is defeating Satan at every turn, crushing the sin in our lives, and inspiring in us great love for one another and the world around us.
He is alive and we are free. He is alive and we have found our peace. Our King has come. And He’s coming again. Rejoice, Church! Rejoice, sinners! Rejoice, you who are weary and brokenhearted! Rejoice, you who think you are too far gone! Rejoice, you who have greatly sinned! Rejoice, you who aren’t good enough! Rejoice, you who have been abandoned! Rejoice, you who are too weak to fight any longer! Rejoice, you who are grieved! Rejoice, you who are utterly depressed! Rejoice! He is risen! He is alive! He is coming again! By His wounds, you are healed! By faith in His resurrection, you will be raised! Come to him! Be reconciled to God! Come! Let His love wash over you! May you experience the power of His resurrection!
Check our the song Our King has Come. Happy Easter, brothers and sisters!