Saturday, April 15, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum


Resurrection: Celebration of New Life in Christ 

Rev. Christopher Phil Daniel
Youth Chaplain - Midwest Region 
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” (St. Luke 24:5b)

The women who went to the tomb on the first day of the week to embalm the body of Jesus with their spices probably never expected to see the risen Lord. These women, along with the other disciples of Jesus, were so overwhelmed with despair, confusion, and fear that they really did not know what to expect on the third day after Jesus’ death. So, when the women find the tomb to be empty and vacant, they are utterly perplexed. The emptiness, the void, and the nothingness of the tomb is not expected. Not only was the empty tomb unexpected, but even the death of Jesus on a cross was quite unexpected; it was something that they could not comprehend or even come to accept. In the midst of these unforeseen and unanticipated circumstances, these women are left wondering, “Why did this happen?”

It is in this moment of immense hopelessness that the women are given great reassurance. Two men or angels appeared, adorned in dazzling white clothes, bringing with them the good news that Jesus is not here but has indeed risen from the dead. The angels enable the women to recall all that Jesus had foretold and disclosed to them, and they are moved to escape from their darkness and despair into the light of this new hope that has been given to them in and through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

With the joyful reality of the resurrection mounting in their hearts, the women no longer stand discouraged, despaired, or defeated. They now stand with a new hope in their lives which encourages them to no longer ask “Why?” but instead to ask, “How shall we now live?” They now are compelled to fearlessly seek out Christ among the living, to boldly share the life-giving good news of the resurrection with the other disciples.

In the same way, the resurrection calls us to proclaim the risen Lord but also to acknowledge the incredible truth that the risen Lord is alive and continues to dwell among us and within us. We are called to embrace this truth and embrace the new life that we receive from our risen Savior. We are to celebrate the salvation we have received and continue this celebration by sharing this new-life experience with others so that they too can take part in celebrating the resurrected Lord. 

Christ is risen! The stone has been rolled away, and the tomb is empty. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


PRAYER


Loving God, we pray that You would enable us to live in the gladness and Grace of Your Resurrection Day. Help us to be grateful for Your sacrifice and to rejoice in the gift of salvation. Help us to proclaim Your good news to the world and to strive each day for Your glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen.  


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

“Without resurrection, Christianity is just another human approach to reach God; it is emptied of transforming power and hope…To believe in Christ is to believe not merely in his example, but in the power of his resurrection to grant new life.” – Darrell Bock (New Testament Scholar)