Alleluia, Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!
This acclamation is the summary statement of what happened more than 2,000 years ago – our Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins but God raised him from the dead on the third day.
For many people the resurrection of Jesus is something that happened several centuries ago that we celebrate on Easter Sunday – simply an event we celebrate, proclaim, and claim as part of our faith. But if you celebrate Christ’s resurrection only one day of the year as a historical event, you’ve missed the point of it altogether.
The resurrection of Jesus has affected all of creation – past, present and future. In other words, after the resurrection of Jesus, nothing has been the same and nothing will ever remain the same for eternity. Christ’s resurrection changes everything: the world and it’s destiny, your life and your challenges, and everyone’s life and destiny.
In what way does His resurrection change everything? It changes it in several ways but let me highlight three in this message:
First, Christ by his resurrection has changed your present. As a result of his resurrection we have a guarantee of forgiveness of sin and the gracious gift of his risen life that transforms us into his likeness and empowers us to live for and live like him. We have been raised with him. We have resurrection life and resurrection power in us that guide and enable godly behavior. As Eugene Peterson has written, “Christ’s friends were utterly transformed by his resurrection. Their friendship, their work, and even their meals together took on a new meaning and purpose. The same can happen to us today. When the Resurrection becomes the core reality of our spiritual formation, our dimmed eyes and dull souls are lifted to a place of continual renewal”.
Second, Christ by his resurrection has changed your future. In his resurrection Jesus became the firstborn from the dead,thereby inaugurating a glorious new world – a world marked by a new creation, his kingly presence, harmony, eternal life, peace, love, victory over death, and everlasting joy. He has ushered in a new age and a new world without strife, Satan, evil, threats, decay, death, brokenness, frustration, disappointment, and disorder. The new age of Shalom has arrived through his resurrection and we are part of it by faith in Him!
Finally, Christ by his resurrection proclaims who really is Lord over your life. The resurrection of Jesus was a global divine announcement that he is Lord of everyone – the living and the dead. The Bible says, “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” Romans 14:9. He cannot be avoided by anyone! There is not a problem in your life that can escape his eyes and power. As Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11. Jesus is Lord.
In remembering these points, remember this too: no matter the challenges and temptations facing you, let Easter be a celebration of our Lord’s resurrection because Jesus is alive and he is with you every single day! When we follow the risen Jesus, we are raised with him. When we believe in the living Jesus weare alive with him. And we shall live with him eternally in the future!
ALLELUIA, CHRIST IS RISEN.
THE LORD IS RISEN INDEED, ALLELUIA!
I wish you all a Happy Easter celebration!
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Felix Orji, OSB
Anglican Diocese of the West
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
“We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. True faith always yields the fruit
of obedience to one degree or another.” Dr. R. C. Sproul