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Posts Tagged ‘#eastersunday’

Today followers of Jesus greet one another with the words,

“He is risen”

and the response is:

“He is risen indeed”

So, what does that traditional greeting mean?

It is in Luke 24:34 where the pair who had met the risen Jesus, announced to the other disciples:

“It is true! The Lord has risen”

In this statement is announced the miracle of Jesus overcoming death and rising from the grave … but, there is more to this.

Jesus rising from the dead, overcoming death … death, the major tool of Satan himself … means that Jesus has defeated death, Satan, evil … sin itself.

He is risen means that we know how this story ultimately ends.

In the rising of Jesus from his death bed, we can have confidence that in the end everyone who follows Jesus lives happily every after, for EVER! We can have confidence of life without death, disease, heartbreak, pollution, floods, cruelty to animals, environmental disasters, evil human leaders, starvation, homelessness etc., etc., etc.

He wins! Jesus is our living hope! Death and Satan are defeated!

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

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IMG_3212

“Christ is risen
He is risen indeed”

The traditional greeting of Christians on Easter Sunday. It is called the “Paschal greeting” and was used in Orthodox and Catholic early churches. Sometimes it is accompanied by three kisses, on alternate cheeks.

It is said to have come from the gospel of Luke (v. 34):

“It is true!
The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”

This said after two disciples met a stranger on the road, as they walked to a village called Emmaus. This stranger, who appeared to know nothing of the events of the days prior, when Jesus, the prophet, was crucified.

 

You see, the stranger was Jesus himselfbut they were kept from recognizing him” (v. 16).

The stranger was told, but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus” (v. 21-24).

They seemed to think that, because of Jesus’ death, maybe Jesus hadn’t been the redeemer/saviour that had hoped him to be, and because they did not see Jesus, who was supposedly alive, they had missed out. All this blind disappointment, in the man walking by their sides.

Then this stranger rebukes them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (v. 25-27).

So this stranger (aka Jesus himself), slaps them upside of the head with what he always uses … what the prophets said. He reminds them that, according to the prophets, their long-awaited saviour had to suffer, had to die.

Then came the fork in the road, Jesus continuing on, but the disciples stopping in Emmaus for the night.

The disciples “urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.”” (v. 29). So Jesus joined them for dinner. 

It was there, at the table that the lightbulb came on for the pair.

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (v. 30-31).

“He took the bread,
gave thanks,
broke it
and began to give it to them”

Let’s rephrase that:

He sat before them,
gave thanks for the broken bread,

his body, days before, broken,
for them

It was in the reminder of Jesus’ broken body, for their broken lives, that their eyes were opened to who is was … for them. It is today, Easter Sunday, that we are all reminded that his body was broken, for our broken lives … but are our eyes opened to this, our Saviour?

” … and he disappeared from their sight” (v. 32). A bit anticlimactic … Just when he is known to them, he leaves them … again.

“They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”” (v. 32). Not so anticlimactic after all, for now that their eyes were fully opened, they realized that something in them had been stirring as they walked and talked with him on that road, to Emmaus. Something in them knew they were in the presence of their Saviour, but, as with all of us, they were blind to his presence.

“They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon” (v. 34-35).

It is true! … almost as if they were saying, Indeed, the Lord has risen!

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The eggs hidden around homes and gardens this weekend remind us of the rock in front of the tomb, and the hope of new life inside.

The joys of chocolate and a feast mark the end of the season of Lent that had many giving up, sacrificing, so as to share in the sacrifice of Jesus.

The rising sun of this morning reminds us of the rising SON that we celebrate, as believers in Christ.

 “He is not here; he has risen!

Declared the heavenly men in the tomb to the women who had come to the tomb with spices to cleanse the body that was gone (Luke 24:6).

Today we celebrate the risen Christ, the fulfillment of the prophets, the blood that was spilled to redeem our sin-soaked lives.

Today we celebrate that the grace of God.

The grace that is available to all, and is there in every high and low of life.

And it comes,

it came,

to us.

And it is still looking to find us, this Easter Sunday.

“From the creation to the cross,
There from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me.”

 

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