Holy Week #8: Easter – Celebrate the Resurrection!

Christ is risen, Truly He is risen!

I’ve been reminiscing about the Easters of my youth. Easter has always been a special day in our family.  

I remember preparing the right clothing, the special dresses.  Homemade dresses, store-bought dresses.  New patent leather shoes! I remember curls in our hair, bows, and barrettes.  The preparation was significant — we were dressing up to celebrate!

I remember early, early Sunday sunrise services.  It was almost always cold.  I remember going to Fort Story in Virginia Beach – a beautiful place for worship! We rose early to celebrate!

I remember the Easter cantatas – beautiful arrangements of music that lifted the soul upward in worship. We practiced, prepared, and sang those cantatas to celebrate!

I remember singing with gusto, “Up from the grave He arose!”  The music was triumphant, inspiring, celebratory!

We had egg hunts, dinner, and family time.

Why the preparation, the emphasis on this big day? Granted, some of our preparations were more about tradition, about the arrival of spring. No longer are the new clothes significant, I don’t shop for shoes, and there are no cantatas … we haven’t attended a church with a choir in so many years. I admit freely I miss the choir, the anthems, the collegial act of making music together! We won’t sing the old hymns on Sunday … I’ll sing those on my own. The Easter “trappings” have changed. BUT the truth of this day has not altered one bit! My experiences are changing, and while the truth of the day hasn’t changed, Easter grows sweeter somehow with the passing of years. His love is richer, deeper, fuller, sweeter — sweeter as the days go by!

“Pay attention … I, the Lord, made you, and I will not forget you.
I have swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”
Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing.
Shout for joy, O depths of the earth!
Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree!

Isaiah 44:21 – 23 NLT

The resurrection authenticated,
confirmed that Jesus was God’s son in power!

[Jesus] was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 1:4 NET

In the resurrection, Jesus revealed His power over death!

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

Romans 6:8-9

The resurrection completed our atonement!

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:17

Jesus was raised for our justification!

He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.

Romans 4:25

In the resurrection, we are also raised with Jesus!

[Jesus] raised us up together with him and seated us together with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus– 

Ephesians 2:6

The resurrection is the source of our spiritual power today!

… and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of his immense strength.  This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms …

Ephesians 1:19 – 20

The resurrection is proof that God will judge the world in righteousness.

[God] has set a day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising him from the dead.

Acts 17:31

Christ is risen, Truly He is risen!

The day of resurrection! 
Earth, tell it out abroad; 
the passover of gladness, 
the passover of God. 
From death to life eternal, 
from earth unto the sky, 
our Christ hath brought us over, 
with hymns of victory. 

Our hearts be pure from evil, 
that we may see aright 
the Lord in rays eternal 
of resurrection light; 
and listening to his accents, 
may hear, so calm and plain, 
his own “All hail!” and, hearing, 
may raise the victor strain. 

Now let the heavens be joyful! 
Let earth the song begin! 
Let the round world keep triumph, 
and all that is therein! 
Let all things seen and unseen 
their notes in gladness blend, 
for Christ the Lord hath risen, 
our joy that hath no end. 

St. John of Damascus, 675
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