“Alleluia! He is Risen! The Lord is risen indeed” Down through the ages this cry speaks loud and clear to a world in desperate need of renewal. Be assured, it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ who on Easter morning changes, transforms, renews our life with God. It is not simply an event that happened a long, long time ago in a place far, far away, but the resurrection breaks through time, memory, and space so we recognize and celebrate Easter as a timeless event.
The story of the resurrection begins with the report of an empty tomb. Empty. Empty, as nothing is there. Yet it is here in the very emptiness, the Gospel speaks loud and clear of the fullness in life with God who provides meaning, purpose, and direction. Standing at the tomb, we see. We recognize and become fully aware in mind, body and spirit this Easter is not about nothing but rather, it is about everything—all of life—for this life and the life to come. It becomes apparent to those of us who stand at the tomb Jesus is not dead. Jesus is alive.
Sure, the tomb has a way of marking the end. Life is over. Done. No more. Finished. We all know what the tomb is about and what it represents and the crushing reality it brings to our broken, suffering, grieving hearts. The resurrection of Jesus, however, does not simply help us pivot, or bring closure, or seek a “new normal” of some sort. Nor, it is not about believing in something that seems unbelievable. Here before us is a new reality, a vision for life, a belief in God, a way to live which is different and makes all the difference in the world.
And, we are not alone as we walk away from the tomb this Easter. Angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven join us as the veil separating heaven from earth and earth from heaven is pulled back. Don’t you see? Almighty God, is revealed joining us in communion—in union—with Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit who by closing the separation, estrangement, sin and even death itself are now “swallowed up in victory!” (I Corinthians 15: 34)
The Easter victory brings with it a New Life in Christ for you and me. It is a life with God, meaning an eternal, immortal, everlasting life now made available. This renewal of life is in Christ. In other words, Easter is not just about being for Christ, or on God’s side, or we are simply with the Holy Spirit. That little two letter preposition “in” is a huge word. It means we are engaged, we interact, we enter into the mind, heart, will, and body of Christ. Many of us are familiar with the words Paul writes, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20) These words make manifest the Truth as we walk away from the tomb of darkness and death and experience the light and life of a new day in Christ.
The gift and promise of renewal are given to us on this Easter Day and for that we are most fortunate and blessed. But the profound reminder on this Easter Day is Jesus holds out this promise and gift for all. No one is beyond the grasp of Jesus and the power of the resurrection. Jesus is the Savior of the World. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings. To which the world cries out, “Alleluia! The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
Drawing © 2016 the Rev. John Stushie “The First Easter! Christ is Risen!”