He is Risen!


He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

I was thinking about how so many churches say the above on Resurrection Sunday, and I had 3 thoughts.
  1. Sadly there are churches out there that claim they are Christian, and yet they argue that He indeed has NOT risen. Furthermore, they actually think they are doing God a "favor", by declaring this. They know it is impossible to be dead for 3 days, and then come back to life (hence why the resurrection is called a miracle). Therefore, they think if they argue that Christ was not raised from dead, non-church people will not think they are foolish, and will begin coming to their church. It's crazy, I know. But I had so many religion teachers at USC, and I promise you, this was their logic.
  2. So many of us who do actually say this in church, fail to recognize what we are actually declaring. We say it more out of tradition rather than a conviction. But we need to stop a moment and think what we're saying. If you or me died at this moment, barring a miracle performed by God alone (for only He can give and take away life), then we're dead. You are either going to Heaven or Hell for eternity. We are not going to raise up from the dead, and go back to work tomorrow. But God raised Jesus from the dead. He walked this earth for 40 more days. He could be seen and heard...and felt (and not some weird spiritual "feel him in my heart" felt...but felt...His disciples and followers could hug Him, his mother probably kissed her baby boy, doubting Thomas touched His wounds). This is one of the many reasons why God says the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. To those perishing, it's absurd that we declare Christ has indeed risen...because no one can come back from the dead. If you have the privilege of declaring this truth in church on Sunday, will there be a war within you? Will part of you say..."Stop. Think about what you are saying. You are saying this man rose from the dead. That is impossible! No one comes back from the dead" and will the other part of you say "No. Get behind me Satan. I know that my Redeemer lives! He is risen INDEED!" I think if someone doesn't have that war, then they probably say "He is risen" because it's tradition at their church, and they want to keep with tradition. I hope you will have the privilege of declaring this awesome Truth at church on Sunday, and that while declaring it that war will rage within you, but God's peace will overwhelm you and you are able to rest in the knowledge that He is risen INDEED!
  3. "Aslan is on the move". For some reason, every time I hear "He is risen...He is risen indeed", I think of that great line from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I forget who says it...I think it's Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. I think they're talking with the children, and they are saying they heard that Aslan is on the move. As we all know, Aslan represents Christ. And I love this image. The Narnians were living in darkness, but they heard Aslan is on the move....he is coming! And the Narnians are getting so excited that their king is coming to save them, so the message begins spreading. I wonder if that's how it was on Resurrection Sunday. Christ's followers were home, mourning His death. Perhaps on Saturday (their Sabbath day), they are at the temple worshiping God, but all they can think about is Christ. Maybe wondering how they could have been so foolish to believe He was their Messiah, or beating themselves up for not standing up for Him. Perhaps they still clung to the hope that He is their Messiah. Perhaps some of them even remembered Christ had said He would raise the Temple up in 3 days. I am positive of this though...the evil one was prowling around like a lion. He was attacking Christ's followers, telling them Christ wont come back from the dead. It's over. He's not the Messiah. Keep waiting. Keep looking. But then...........But then people begin saying some ladies went up to His tomb, but the stone was rolled away, and He wasn't in it...He is risen. Could this be true? Then another report from 2 men who were leaving Jerusalem. A stranger met them on the road, and began revealing to them how all of Scripture points to Jesus as the Messiah. The 2 men get to their destination, but because their hearts were burning with passion for the Lord, they pleaded with this stranger to stay with them for the night...probably because they wanted to hear more. Then this man broke bread with them, and when He did that, the 2 other men realized it was Jesus! At that moment Christ disappeared, and the 2 men, though it was late at night, and Jerusalem was 7 miles away, ran back to Jerusalem to declare He is risen. Could these reports be true!? The Jewish officials are saying these are rumors and lies. They are saying some of Jesus' followers stole His body. That seems more probable. But then again, these Jewish officials have wanted to kill Jesus for awhile, so maybe He is risen, but they don't want us to know it. Besides, there were Roman guards guarding where Jesus was burried. How could some men who were weaponless overpower Roman guards? He is risen. Christ the Lord has risen indeed!

I also want to share this quote. This was from a post by Mars Hill Church. I've put in bold the part that really stood out to me:

  • "Easter is still celebrated as a major holiday all around the globe, but the truth of Jesus' gory crucifixion and glorious resurrection is often obscured by the garish cartoon bunny in the stores and the gaudy displays of springtime fashion among the religious. Traditions of cute bunnies, colored eggs, and little girls in pink dresses are harmless enough, but at the same time we must not let anything obstruct our view of the earth-shattering reality represented by Easter. There's nothing cute or cuddly about the fact that WE KILLED GOD. When we were his enemies, he came to us, suffered in our place through the horror that was Good Friday, and rose from his grave on Easter Sunday so that we will one day rise from ours. The curse is broken, and we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus because we know we will one day experience it (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Let's be joyful, let's never shrink from speaking about Jesus' death and resurrection, and let's never trivialize it." (You can read the whole article here)

Finally, I want to leave you with a song that I love. The lyrics are so powerful. And I love listening to it around this time of year.

By Hannah Dixon
You can hear and/or download the song here

When the God of all the Heavens
Descended from the skies
He traded robes of glory
And He took on the confines
Of a world that could not know Him
For sin had come between them

When the God of all creation
He put on eyes of flesh
No stranger was He to the paths
Of tears and loneliness
In a world that would disown Him
But death could not de-throne Him

King of glory
God of mercy
Lord of lords
Great Redeemer
Precious Jesus

They said He was a liar
Or maybe just insane
But I believe He is God's own Son
And He's coming back to reign
In a world that will exalt Him
For with His blood He bought them

When the Son of God appeareth
Descending from the skies
He will clothe me with His glory
And He'll take me as His bride

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