Pastoral Notes for Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019

“He is not here, but has risen.”—Luke 24:6

Easter is the crescendo of the Christian calendar, because the cross and resurrection are the center of the Christian faith. In breaking forth from the grave, Jesus Christ disarmed the rulers and authorities of this world (Col. 2:15) and put to death the last enemy, death itself (I Cor. 15:54). In rising from the dead, Jesus Christ sent a shock wave of recreation throughout the world, being the first fruits from the dead (I Cor. 15:20). In the victory of Christ’s resurrection, we participate in the power of the resurrection now through faith by the Spirit (Rom. 8:11), and when He returns at the second coming, the graves will lose their grip on those asleep in Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:51-52), and together we will meet the Lord in the air and live forever with Him (1 Thess. 4:14-18). Hallelujah! What a Savior!

The quality of our celebration today should match the importance of what we are celebrating—the most important reality in life and eternity. There is simply no risk of overdoing the celebration. If there was ever a time for worshipful abandon, for giving yourself to wonder, love, and praise that time is now. Join with the angels in heaven, and the saints from all the ages, and worship the risen Christ in Spirit and truth today. The tomb is empty, and the gospel is true. Let the celebration begin!

“A marvelous and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought to inflict on Jesus Christ as dishonor and disgrace has become the glorious monument of death’s defeat.”—Athanasius

“The resurrection is the first day of a new creation.”—Alistair McGrath

“Jesus is your Light

Jesus is your Savior

Jesus is your Resurrection

Jesus is your King

Jesus is leading you to the heights of heaven

Jesus will show you the Eternal Father

Jesus will raise you up by His right hand”—Bishop Melito of Sardis

“Everything in our life that is limiting, sorrowful, or dead becomes the dance floor

on which we celebrate our Easter joy.”—Wendy Wright

“The stem bent, pent in seed, grows straight

And stands. Pain breaks in song. Surprising

The merely dead, graves fill with light

Like opened eyes. He rests in rising.”—Wendell Berry

“Grant me more and more of the resurrection life:

may it rule me,

may I walk in its power,

and be strengthened through its influence.”—The Valley of Vision