As Christians every Sunday gathering to worship is a reminder and celebration that Jesus Christ is Risen—Halleluiah! When we confess our faith using the Apostles’ Creed we declare that after Jesus died and was buried, “The third day he rose again from the dead.” He rose the day after the Sabbath (the sev-enth day of the week, Saturday), Jesus rose on the first day of the week (see Mt. 28:1). So every Sunday should be an Easter celebration!
Without the resurrection there would be no good news, no Gospel. In fact, as Paul Beasley-Murray points out in The Message of the Resurrection, “The very existence of the Gospels is a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels are ‘good news’ only in so far as the Jesus of whom they speak is the risen Lord. Had the story of Jesus ended with the cross, there would have been no gospel—nor would there have been four Gospels.” (p. 20)
The Apostle Paul proclaimed Christ around the Roman world faithfully, and wrote to the Corinthian church “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23). But the message of the cross includes the wondrous truth of the resurrection as Paul demonstrates in Athens where he stirred up the crowds and Luke records their dispute and says, “They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18).
Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, is now alive forevermore! This should excite us because our Savior continues His redemptive work in heaven. He is NOT passively watching what hap-pens down here, unaware and uninterested and unable to do anything! The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English states: “As our redeemer, Christ is a prophet, priest, and king in both His humiliation [his birth, life, death and bur-ial] and His exaltation [his resurrection, ascension, being seated at God’s right hand, and his return]” (Q. 23). Our Lord lives! Job looked forward and we look back and we both exclaim, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25)!
That the Lord lives mattered a great deal to the prophets of the Old Testament and should matter just as much to us today. Jeremiah contrasts the living God to dead and worthless idols (Jer. 10:1-16) and Isaiah does the same thing (Isa. 44:6-23). Peter’s profound confes-sion of who Jesus is, includes a reference to the One, True God that we mustn’t forget: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16). Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, and He Lives! All the idols of our world today are just as dead as the wooden or golden statues in Jeremiah’s and Isaiah’s day. The LORD, the true God, the living God, the eternal King (Jer. 10:10) is powerfully at work redeeming His people. Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior is pouring out His Spirit, interceding for His peo-ple, and reigning from heaven. One day He will return to judge all people and will we will be with Him for-ever in the new heavens and new earth. Are you eagerly anticipating and watching for that day? Are you as eager for it as you are for springtime to finally arrive? Stir up your hearts in watchfulness and anticipation by gathering with us every Sunday to celebrate and worship our Living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Have a blessed Easter,