“Happy Easter!” This is the customary greeting we address one another here in the U.S. on this special day. We sometimes limit our conversation to the subjects of new clothes, spring breaks, festive food, and parties, forgetting that Easter’s main concern is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In contrast, the Christians in the early church and elsewhere greet each other with the salutation, “Christ is risen!”, and the response “He is risen indeed!”
Remember apart from the great fact of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, we would have no gospel to preach. By “Resurrection” we do not mean that our Lord’s spirit continued to live after His body died, but that He was actually raised from the dead by the Father, and came forth from the tomb in the very same body that was nailed to Calvary’s cross. In that body, now glorified, He sits at God’s right hand, and He is coming again as the Judge of the living and the dead - the saved and the lost.
The resurrection of Christ was the crowning climax of God’s love. Had Christ stayed in the grave, not only would His promises of new life have been unfulfilled and His claims for divine power disproved, but His suffering, the agony of the cross, the unimaginable sorrow that crushed His soul, the forsakenness by God, would have all been in vain. Second, the resurrection of Christ proves that He has power over life and death. It proves that He is no mere mortal human leader. The empty tomb testifies that Jesus is very God of very God, the Ruler of life and death.
Third, His resurrection brings newness of life and hope to us all. The radiant joy of resurrection gives life its beauty and blessing. People who reject Easter’s victory suffer despair and anguish. No matter how you classify fears and phobias, the fright caused by sickness, age, loss, and persecution is unbearable without Christ. Lastly, His resurrection guarantees our resurrection. Easter is the divine warrant that God has forgiven the sins which bring eternal death. This day offers the surety that God has accepted the suffering and dying of His own Son as the payment for your sins and punishment. You can be assured that you will be blessed in heaven before the presence of Jesus forever.
Notice the threefold response to Paul’s message ‘When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, (rejecters)’ but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” (procrastinators) A few men...believed. (believers)” Acts 17:32-34. Which group do you belong to?