We have walked through these past Forty Days of Lent together. And now, oh now, now we come to Easter. The Lord is Risen. The Lord is Risen indeed! Yes, yesterday was Easter, but we are an Easter people. We celebrate the resurrection every day!
Listen to what Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-7:
1 Now I should remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain. 3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me.
Paul tells us today, that this is the Good News! Jesus is resurrected. He has overcome sin, death, and the grave. Our salvation is purchased and won, we are forgiven and restored.
Death has been overcome. Sin has been overcome. Life wins out. To me, that’s the thing that is so powerful. It isn’t just that I (and you) are forgiven. It’s that life wins. Every time. Hope win. Goodness wins. Grace wins.
We live in a world where it seems like that isn’t the case. We live in a world where it seems like evil and sin and sickness will win. But that isn’t the case. Even though it may seem like it.
That is what we believe. That is at the core of what it means to be a Christian. That’s the foundation. That’s the cornerstone.
As we say in the communion liturgy of the United Methodist Church –
As we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.
Yep, that’s it. That’s what it’s about. That’s the heart of everything, everything, everything we are. Today, believe that. Hope that. Claim that. Live in that.
Christ is risen. That changes everything.
Today, live in that hope!