It is an ancient liturgy translated into countless tongues and spoken by billions since the historical event of the resurrection. It is the core of the Church’s Easter worship. It is the centre of Christian belief over the past two millennia.
It is the announcement that reminds us that Jesus is who Jesus says He was and Jesus has done what Jesus said He would do. It speaks to the awesome power of God that breaks into our physical world and demonstrates supremacy over life and death.
It is the proclamation that death, which seemed so inevitable for all creation, not only could be defeated, but was convincingly overcome for all whose futures were woven into Christ’s. The Scripture describes believers as those who are in Christ and those who have Christ in them. Our eternity cannot be separated from His.
It is the assertion of a primary truth. The death and resurrection of the God-Man Jesus is the centre point of our faith. God loved us so much that He came into our world to reclaim us and save us. He came humbly to give Himself for us in order to redeem us.
It is the rallying cry for billions who stand witness to the fact that our world’s history was impacted forever by a carpenter’s Son in the backwaters of the Roman Empire who briefly taught in parables 2,000 years ago. Something miraculous happened to inspire a faith and a church to explode like a creative big bang that is still creating communities of Christ followers.
It must be the foundation of the gospel we share. Jesus Christ was more than a great teacher. His importance transcends any philosopher. He exceeds any who brought moral and ethical truth. Jesus is who He said He was. Jesus does what He says He will do. He and the Father are one. He must die but after three days will rise again.
Paul, the archetypical missionary, sums it up for us in 1 Corinthians 15:
“…and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that He raised Christ—whom He did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!