Easter Sunday to Regular Monday
He is RISEN!
What a glorious truth! All around the world, thousands and thousands of Christians raised their voices in celebration that the grave could not hold God’s Christ!
Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we are not only forgiven but are gifted with eternal life as Sons and Daughters - men and women purchased by His own blood from every tribe, tongue, and nation!
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Now, we remember Christ’s death and resurrection every time we gather as God’s people for worship and as often as we partake of the Lord’s Table together in communion. But there is a reality that although yesterday we celebrated an empty tomb, today we are faced with trials, temptations, and worries that hit hard enough to skew our joyful vision from yesterday.
So, the question remains - What difference does the empty tomb make on Monday?
In his first letter to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul is writing to correct the spreading rumor that Christ did not actually rise from the dead. Paul seeks to kill that lie and lift up the glorious truth and meaning of Christ’s resurrection.
He first recaps the historical truth of what happened:
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-8 ESV)
How marvelous. Jesus is alive and appeared to many so that those who would doubt his resurrection would have to contend with hundreds of eye-witnesses.
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about 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, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-19 ESV)
What a statement — “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (vs 19)
If Christ is not raised from the dead we, more than anyone else, are lost.
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.”
(1 Corinthians 15:20-21 ESV emphasis mine)
Death came by Adam — Life came by Christ Jesus! (Romans 6:20-23)
Our world, marred by the effects of sin, may continue to show the fractures and effects of sin. And you may feel it in your Monday as creation groans and awaits the consummation of Peace forevermore when future glory is fully realized (Romans 8:18-25).
And as we wait we are not without hope…
“But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:10-11 ESV)
So, if Christ has been raised from the dead it is not only cause for songs of joy on Sunday - but hope for life today in the power of the Risen Christ and the Holy Spirit of God today, and all our striving, by the Spirit who works in us, is not in vain. Christ’s resurrection is not only joy for yesterday - but life and strength and peace for today.
“For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’
‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
(1 Corinthians 15:53-58 ESV)
Soli Deo Gloria