Saturday, 26 March 2016

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Easter Sunday, the most joyful day in the Christian year - even better than Christmas Day! That day we celebrate Christ's birth, but today, after the solemnity of Good Friday, we rejoice in Christ's resurrection. For death was not the end. Satan could not hold our Lord in its grip. Jesus had stamped His authority over all things - in Heaven and hell.
Jesus' followers, who had spent days in despair, thinking that Jesus was dead and gone, were hidden together, wondering what would become of themselves. Would they be hunted down and put to death? Peter, who had promised Jesus that he would follow Him anywhere, had already denied knowing Jesus three times.
The women who had been with Jesus went to His tomb to anoint his body. It was there that they found the stone which had been placed at the tomb's entrance rolled back. The tomb was empty.
Jesus appeared, first to Mary Magdalene, then to His disciples and many others. How amazing it would have been! It was proof that everything that Jesus has foretold them was true.
Jesus demonstrated by his return His great love for His disciples.
He spent time in fellowship with them. He told them what He wanted them to do - to wait for His ascension into Heaven and to wait for Him to send His Holy Spirit to be with them. When they had received God's Holy Spirit they would be witnesses for Christ - in Jerusalem, Judea and to the ends of the earth, as Christ's followers are still doing in various ways today.

The resurrection is the promise of hope and eternal life with Christ. No other god bears scars. No other god died and rose again. No other god promises a personal relationship of love.

Throughout the world, in the face of opposition and hatred, cynicism and apathy, the Christian message has rung true through the centuries, and will forever remain:

"Christ is risen!"
"He is risen indeed!"

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