Thursday, April 20, 2006

Resurrection Day Greeting: “He is Risen.” Response: “He is Risen Indeed.”

Easter Morning: Ajigasawa Chapel
In I Corinthians chapter 15 the Apostle Paul writes “ . . . if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins . . . . If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” This principle threads its way back through the epistles and gospels of the New Testament, back through the Law and the Prophets of the Hebrew scriptures, all the way back to the first chapters of the first book of Moses in which we read of death entering the world through sin. It is the conviction that Jesus Christ is the Seed of the Woman who would crush the Serpent’s head; that he is the Seed of Abraham in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. This Easter, as my wife and I anticipate, Lord willing, the birth of our first child in July, I was awakened in a new way to the third verse of the hymn “Because He [Jesus Christ] Lives”:

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He [Jesus] lives.

I find many passages in the Hebrew and New Testament scriptures exciting, but one in particular is in Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica which reads, in part:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
So here, as those who believe in Him celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, I repeat the second to last verse in the Bible: “Come, Lord Jesus.”

The Resurrection Story, from the Book of Luke (the apostle Luke, that is, not me).
Resurrection Story: The Sequel Part I, also by the apostle Luke