Easter Greetings 2019

“He is Risen!”  Three simple words.  Eternal in consequence.  Don’t we say them every Easter?  It’s a King James thing, and it’s how most of us recite the greeting.  Theologically and technically, I wonder if “He has risen” might be a bit closer to the truth. 

Luke 24:1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:

On the day the tomb was empty, He was discovered to be… “not here.”  If we’re not careful “Risen” could be an indefinite state of being kind of like when your teenager’s snooze button has been going for 30 minutes and he calls back in reply to your shouts of “Get out of bed!” with “I’m up”…which may be only a very temporary state because it’s the present tense. 

Not to go all Greek on you, but to my way of thinking, perhaps it’s not such a minor point.  The verb in the original Greek of the New Testament is indicative, aorist, and passive.  (Uh-oh!!  It’s okay.  Don’t worry about it.)  What it means is that it certainly happened in the past and it was done to Jesus by someone else (in this case, Romans 6:4 tells us it was done through the glory of the Father). 

Why is this important?  Why are you giving me a grammar lesson on Easter morning?  Can’t I just have sunshine and an empty tomb picture?  Hot cross buns, Greek Easter bread, a cup of coffee, and chomp the head off a chocolate bunny? 

Here is why I believe this nuance isn’t so minor:  Jesus isn’t in a constant state of Rising, presently Risen as if held in perpetual mid-air suspension, or even in a temporary state called “Risen” which might be more like your sleepy teenager.  Rather it’s a once-and-done certain event of eternal consequence.

Perhaps one of the clearer pictures is in Mark 16:6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:6). 

Do you see the past, present, and eternal?

  • A one-time defeat of death,
  • a one-time triumph over the grave
  • by the one and only Person whose death and resurrection truly mattered for all eternity
  • because God is immortal, invisible, and from before time began.
  • Only He, Jesus Christ the Son of God, is God, and could pay for the immeasurable sin of man
  • because His death was that of an infinite Being…
  • raised by the glory of the immortal, eternal, Almighty God!  
  • Our Risen Savior Jesus will never again be incarnated.  He still has a body–it’s with Him in heaven and that’s what His post-resurrection appearances prove.  

“He has risen!”  It’s final, eternal, and He’s coming back for those who believe that He is who He said He is, that He died for our sins, was raised from the dead, and is now waiting for the full number to enter in to the family of faith to usher the day of His return.

Have you entered into the family of faith made possible by His life, death, and resurrection?  If not, how about today?  Maybe He’s waiting for you to complete this family for all eternity.  Happy Easter!  He has Risen!  He has Risen indeed!

Categories Chapel Worship/News | Tags: | Posted on April 20, 2019

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