He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
These words have encouraged Christians over the centuries each Easter. Not only do we shout them back and forth to each other in worship at Bethlehem on Easter; it seems we shout them back and forth across the generations. Easter’s news changes everything.
Jesus’ resurrection changes His disciples. John tells us that when Jesus met with His disciples that Easter evening, He commissioned them—changing them into apostles. “Apostle” comes from a Greek word meaning, “sent.” Jesus sent them—and us—on a mission. He sent us into our jobsites, classrooms, neighborhoods and family gatherings into the forgiveness “business.” We’re on a mission from God!
Jesus’ resurrection changes our worship. Two changes come to mind: one historical and one seasonal. During the season of Lent, we have withheld our alleluias. This season is a somber one, focusing on our re-pentance and the price Jesus paid for our redemption. Our songs and hymns have been more subdued out of reverence for our Lord’s suffering. But now, that’s changed. Our alleluias return and our voices shout our joy in response to the news that death has been swallowed up in Christ’s victory.
Previous to Christ’s resurrection, believers in God’s promises (the Israelites) worshipped on the Sabbath. God rested from Creation and set the Sabbath aside for us to rest and worship Him. Paul writes to the Corin-thians, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our focus is on the new creation that Jesus’ resurrection has wrought. So, instead of worshipping on the seventh day, we worship on the eighth day. Read more . . .