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He is Risen!

April 5, 2015

The Resurrection of Jesus: Matthew 28:1-10

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.”8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

Will your Easter Sunday worship begin with those words as mine will? I hope so because that is the reason we celebrate today and it is the reason we journeyed through 40 days of Lenten ‘fasting.’

For most of my adult life, Easter has been, and still is, my favorite religious holiday. In part perhaps because it is less commercialized than Christmas. (It is, however, plenty commercialized.)

I love the music, which often includes brass. We have energy in our worship. We see little girls and boys dressed up, sometimes we still see girls in the white gloves and patent leather shoes, and hats in which my mom adorned me at that age. It’s nice to see so many dressed up in honor of this incredible gift God gives us.

While we’re all excited, maybe from the Easter basket candy as much as from faithful joy, imagine the excitement – and fear? – from Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. Above, Matthew tells us “they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy.”

Who wouldn’t, right? But I don’t think I would have wanted to leave him for fear I’d imagined it all. If only they’d had cell phones. They could have texted the disciples and stayed right there with Jesus. Today the news would immediately be all over Twitter and YouTube. ‘#HeIsRisen!’

Thankfully for us all it wasn’t anyone’s imagination. God indeed loves us so much that He sacrificed His only son, Jesus, and raised him from the dead to assure that we have eternal life.

Even on the days or years when life on Earth is hard and we deal with assorted pains and struggles, we can hold onto God’s promise. Based on our faith alone, God promises that physical death will have no hold on us either. We will spend eternity with God thanks to Jesus.

He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

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