Dark morning, sun yet to lighten the sky. Some women went to where his body lay.
Not even the bitter herbs of Passover could compare with the bitterness of the last few days. The darkness was appropriate; they had murdered their Lord.
But, the tomb was wide open, so they walked inside.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
They saw the dawning of the resurrection day.
“He’s not here, he is risen!”
We celebrate it every year and mostly we can’t wait untill we get the the chocolate – a moderate spike in our normally high consumption.
But Resurrection Sunday is the most significant day of human history since creation.
Mid April almost 2000 years ago everything changed. Or perhaps better said; God’s plan to deal with Sin and suffering, to reverse the curse, his plan to glorify his beloved Son Jesus came to full flowering.
Everything is different now. We forget because it’s been different for 2000 years and so feels like a new normal for many of us who grew up knowing this truth.
But, everything is different, and a new believer can feel it.
There is a young woman at my church who is celebrating her first Easter as a believer. I spoke to her on Good Friday and she was revelling in the deep significance of the holiday – her first expeience of the real glory of Easter – Christ Jesus dead for sin, but alive as king.
The resurrection means many, many things; for who God is, for Jesus, for you and I, and for the world (you can listen to my talks on the resurrection here to sratch the surface) But the thing that I’d like to remind us all is captured in the first ‘witnessing’ of the apostle Peter to Jesus resurrection in Acts 2:
29 “Brothers, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: He is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah:
He was not left in Hades,
and His flesh did not experience decay.
32 “God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this…
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!”
Christianity’s most incredulous claim “Jesus rose from the dead” leads to our most offensive “Jesus is Lord and Christ.” His is a double claim to rule us: he has God’s own authority and claim to our lives (Lord) and that as the God appointed human ruler, representitive – the new Adam – the Christ he is king of everything.
The resurrection shows us that Jesus is king – that his rule is so comprehensive that he even rules humanity’s greatest enemy – the thing we have never, ever, been able to conquer: Death.
And it means that he has the power and right to rule us.