Happy Easter Sunday to you saints. My heart certainly goes out to our brethren who recently lost very close family members, we pray for God’s comfort. We bless the Lord for this very special day, when the Church world wide celebrates the resurrection of our Lord, which is the basis of our faith. Unlike the other founders of other religions, our Lord was both human and divine, which is a great paradox, only to be appreciated when we by the act of our will invite the Saviour into our lives. This explains why the grave would never contain Him! All the writers of the gospels agree, that Jesus gave up His Spirit, which means that he willingly died to restore the broken relationship between humanity and God our Father, and so unlike the criminals with whom He was crucified, He did not hold on to His life. By shedding his blood on the cross, He had fulfilled God’s requirements for forgiveness, and so He let go of His Spirit, so that the process of our salvation would be complete (Hebrews 10:11-17).
Christ’s resurrection was a victorious act, as Apostle Paul would write later to the Corinthians church, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep…For he must reign till he has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For he has put all things under his feet”(1 Cor. 15:20-26). In Matt 28:2, the stone was not rolled back so Jesus could get out, but so others could get in and see that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, just as He had promised.
The angel who announced the good news of the resurrection to the women (Matt 28:5-7), gave them four key messages, all of which point to our benefits of Christ’s victory over death:
1) Do not be afraid. The reality of the resurrection brings joy, and not fear. Whenever you are afraid of anything, remember the empty tomb 2) He is not here. Jesus is not dead, and is not to be looked for among the dead. He is alive with his people.
3) Come and see. The women could check the evidence themselves. The tomb was empty then, and it is empty today. The resurrection is a historical fact.
4) Go quickly and tell. They were to spread the joy of the resurrection. We too are to spread the great news about Jesus’ resurrection.
Jesus’ resurrection is the key to the Christian faith.
1) Just as he promised, Jesus rose from the dead. We can be confident therefore, that he will accomplish all he has promised.
2) Jesus’ bodily resurrection shows us that the living Christ is ruler of God’s eternal Kingdom, not a flash prophet
3) We can be certain of our resurrection because he was resurrected. Death is not the end – there is a future life
4) The power that brought Jesus back to life is available to us to bring our Spiritually dead selves back to life.
5) The resurrection is the basis for the church’s witness to the world.
Jesus is more than just a human religious figure, He is the Son of God.
As you ponder this Easter message, I challenge all of us to break away from whatever has held us back, and move forward to attain that which Christ already achieved for us, eternal salvation. Jesus in his death and resurrection, achieved a resounding victory for us when he defeated our greatest enemy – death! Will you know His saving and life transforming power? Blessings!
The Very Rev. Canon Michael Mukhwana