Christ Is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
This is the Easter message. This is the good news of scripture! This is the foundation for hope in our lives!
God chooses to bring forth life. This is what God has always been doing. God breathed life into Adam, that first human made from the dust of the ground. God breathed new life into a valley of dry bones described in the book of Ezekiel. God breathes new life into death, raising Jesus from the dead.
Before the risen Christ appears to his followers they are in need of new life. Mary is overcome by grief as she walks in the garden. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus are disappointed and disillusioned. Their hopes have been crushed. The original disciples are in the upper room, afraid and living behind not just closed doors, but locked doors. Thomas is filled with doubts. In every case, their sorrow, pain and grief reveals how much they and we need a risen Lord and Savior. And in every case, Jesus meets them in their despair and breathes new life into them through the resurrection.
It is interesting to note that each of these followers of Jesus is slow to recognize Jesus even when he is right there, standing before them. Mary thinks Jesus is the gardener. The two on the road to Emmaus walk miles together, talking and sharing, and they still don’t recognize Jesus. Thomas isn’t going to believe unless he can touch the wounds. And those original disciples at first thought Jesus was a ghost. Is it any wonder that we too, at times, fail to see and recognize that the risen Christ is with us.
Whether we recognize him immediately or not, the risen Christ is with us. Christ lives! And through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection despair turns into hope, death turns into life for all of us. This is why Easter matters. Because Christ lives we are never left on our own. Because Christ lives we have the promise of forgiveness and grace upon grace. Because Christ lives we too have received new life. There is no greater love than this and nothing compares to this grace.