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Hope Has Risen

easter-lilly-stripNormally when a family member discovers an empty tomb there is distress, sadness and a mad dash to call the authorities. But when we, the members of God’s redeemed family, see our Savior’s empty grave, we rejoice, for why would we seek the living among the dead?

Apart from the attraction of chocolate bunnies and egg hunts and other cultural festivities surrounding Easter weekend lays the heart of our hope – the resurrected Shepherd. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then all that we do in our church life is mere vanity and our faith is worthless. And if all we have ever done is to hope in Christ in this life only, we are pitiful, pitiful men indeed. (1Cor.15:12-19) But our hope is not in this life.

The supernatural validation that authenticates our faith is the resurrection of Christ. It is God’s signature on the redemptive canvas of Calvary’s suffering sacrifice where the King of Glory died in our place so that we, along with Him, might live in eternal perfection. The angel told us to not be afraid for Jesus rose from the dead just as He said he would –“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay” (Matt.28:6) Therefore, we are not to be pitied, but rather we can and must rejoice! (Phil.4:4)

Christ’s resurrection represents the Godhead’s conquering victory over sin and death through the foreordination and decree of the Father, the obedience and work of the Son, and the will and power of the Holy Spirit. In this Triune work of great salvation we find renewal and comfort and a new life that purposes to please God. We now have the privilege to walk rightly and obey Him as our Lord and Savior when previously we were dead in our sins and trespasses incapable of satisfying God. Through the triumph of Lamb, death has lost its sting and life eternal belongs to us. Mercy has been shown to the undeserved! Grace beyond description has been given to the rebellion. Love is our new signature.

On his missionary journey to Greece the Epicureans and Stoic philosophers met up with the apostle Paul in Athens and heard him preach about the wonder of the resurrection.  They thought he was a strange babbler coming to proclaim peculiar gods in their city.   But as Paul spoke to them in the Areopagus, he instructed them about the God who is there. “He”, Paul declared, “has overlooked the times of past ignorance but is now declaring to everyone everywhere that they must repent, because God has chosen a future day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through Christ’s return having furnished proof to all men by raising Jesus from the dead.” (my paraphrase -Acts 17:16 ff)

As you look up to the skies today remember the One who is risen.  As you contemplate the newness of spring forget not the victorious King.  As you pray to God in His will remember His glory. See heaven. Worship the Lamb!