Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. . . .
In the church I serve we will greet one another this morning with the greeting “Christ is risen!” and the response will be “He is risen indeed!” We join centuries of Christians in marking this day as the day that changed everything. We celebrate the amazing truth that although Jesus was dead, he’s now alive forevermore. Christ Jesus rose victorious over death. He is risen!
It’s interesting to notice how John, the gospel writer, anchors the event of the resurrection to a day, a time, and a witness. On a particular day in history, early in the morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene saw that the stone had been moved away from Jesus’ tomb. John wants to be clear. The resurrection of Jesus happened on earth’s soil, in our time, for the benefit of us humans whom God created and loves. Because Jesus is risen, life for us is forever anchored in good news.
Christ’s resurrection gloriously demonstrates that God’s sovereign love has the last word. As a powerful hymn puts it, “No power of hell, no human plan, can ever pluck me from his hand.” We now live in the joyful assurance that because Christ lives, we too will live for all eternity.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Living God, our hearts are lifted to you in praise and thanks that the grave could not hold our Lord Jesus. He is risen! Help us to live joyfully, hopefully, and boldly in the power of his resurrection. Amen.
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