Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.1 Peter 1:3
The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!Luke 24:34
Truly, a miracle so mind-blowing as resurrection from the grave bears repeating as we rejoice on Easter Sunday. As we proclaim “He is risen!” you may hear others doubly confirm, “He is risen indeed!” It’s like saying, “It’s the truth! He rose up from the grave and He is alive!”
Easter weekend is filled with so many emotions. We feel Jesus’ wounds deeply as we remember His sacrifice and excruciating death on the cross. But as Sunday looms before us, anticipation rises. The very purpose of the weekend is to remind us no matter what we face today, what we have been through, or no matter what the future holds, we know God has conquered it all. Jesus, His Son, conquered sin, death, the cross, and He is making all things new. This is why we rejoice when we hear the words, “He is risen!”
“Margaret Sangster Phippen wrote that in the mid 1950s her father, British minister W. E. Sangster, began to notice some uneasiness in his throat and a dragging in his leg. When he went to the doctor, he found that he had an incurable disease that caused progressive muscular atrophy. His muscles would gradually waste away, his voice would fail, his throat would soon become unable to swallow.
Sangster threw himself into his work in British home missions, figuring he could still write and he would have even more time for prayer. “Let me stay in the struggle, Lord,” he pleaded. “I don’t mind if I can no longer be a general, but give me just a regiment to lead.” He wrote articles and books, and helped organize prayer cells throughout England. “I’m only in the kindergarten of suffering,” he told people who pitied him.
Gradually Sangster’s legs became useless. His voice went completely. But he could still hold a pen, shakily. On Easter morning, just a few weeks before he died, he wrote a letter to his daughter. In it, he said, “It is terrible to wake up on Easter morning and have no voice to shout, ’He is risen!’-but it would be still more terrible to have a voice and not want to shout.”
Do you rejoice in the fact that indeed He lives. Does He live within your heart? Can you sing these words and mean them?
I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today;
I know that He is living whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.Alfred Ackley