The traditional Christian greeting of this day, Easter Sunday is, He is risen! It’s a statement of joy and hope that means different things to different people.
[The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, by Caravaggio, 1601. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia]
Please allow me tell you what Dawn and I mean when we say it…
Yes, Dawn and I are two of those crazy, Jesus freaks who really believe in the literal, physical, permanent resurrection of Jesus and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. There He reigns literally and physically as Christ and Lord over all the universe and all the affairs of men.
We’re nutty enough to believe, according to His promise, that He governs all things (including the bad stuff) so that all things work to His glory and the good of those who love Him.
We’re un-pc enough to believe, according to His promise, that He will literally, physically return to put and end to the earth and the affairs of men as we know it. We believe, according to the Apostles, that He will reward His followers, punish those who are not, and create a new heavens and earth.
We’re old-fashioned enough to believe, according to the whole Old and New Testaments, that Jesus was granted this authority because He lived a perfectly obedient life unto God, and that He died vicariously for sinners, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God.
We’re silly enough to believe, according to the Scriptures, that Jesus was God incarnate, fully God and fully man, so that He was uniquely qualified to live and die on behalf of people to achieve their redemption, and unto God to satisfy His justice.
So, our hope of eternal life is that we belong to Jesus. Our confidence that we are forgiven of our tremendous (past, present, future) sins is in Him. Our chief devotion in life is to Him. We are followers of Him first. We are concerned about His gospel and kingdom first. Our lives and property are His first. We are employees, parents, citizens, spouses, etc, a very distant second. Yet even our devotion is wretched, so we trust that He paid for that sin on the cross, too.
And now you know what we mean when we say, He is risen!