He Is Risen
How would you have felt on encountering an angel?
What would your reaction be to finding out Jesus was alive?
“But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.’” (Matthew 28:5-6, ESV)
I think I would have needed a moment to process all that was happening. Imagine that you are grieving. You go to visit your loved one's grave, and you’re confronted with and spoken to by an angel, who informs you that He is still alive, or more accurately, has risen from the dead!
I think I would have had to sit down for a minute. But oh, what joy!!! What amazing, indescribable joy!! He Is Risen!
This is the event upon which the whole of Christianity hinges. The Resurrection is the basis for our faith. If it didn’t happen, our hope is meaningless. But it did happen, and because Jesus rose from the dead, our sins are forgiven, and death holds no more fear for us! The leverage the enemy had over humanity, the fear of death, is gone.
I once shared the Gospel with an atheist who insisted that Jesus did not rise from the dead, but rather that His disciples stole and hid His body and then went about claiming that He was resurrected.
My rebuttal was this: Every one of Jesus’s disciples was martyred. They all died in some horrible way for their faith. Peter was crucified upside down. Stephen was stoned. Paul was beheaded after years of incarceration. John, who lived the longest, died in exile, alone, on the Island of Patmos.
So, if they knew it wasn’t true, if they made it all up, would they all die for it? Would anyone die for a lie?? Wouldn’t at least one of them, under torture and threat of death, have admitted that they’d made it all up? Absolutely!
They all, every single one, went happily to death, knowing that they were going to Heaven to be reunited with Jesus. All of them went to their executions proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah, the risen Lord, the Savior of the world.
People don’t do that for a lie. When Jesus was arrested His disciples ran for the hills, so to speak. They went underground. They hid. They were afraid of being arrested, too, for being His followers. (Matthew 26:56, John 20:19) But when He appeared to them after His Resurrection (John 20:19, Matthew 28:16), they marched out into the world, proclaiming His victory over death, His Divinity, and establishing churches – a whole new faith – in His name. (The Acts of the Apostles)
He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! Our Lord REIGNS! I believe, and I’m heading to church to celebrate with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Will you join us?