“He is not here. He is risen, just as he said.” – Matthew 28:6
He is Risen! This is our declaration today and the declaration of the whole world and all of creation – Christ has died but Christ is risen.
He is risen. This struck me as strange growing up in the United Methodist Church. We said to each other, He is risen! And others would recite back, He is risen indeed! Maybe the strangeness was in the use of words like “Risen” or “Indeed,” words I only used on Easter but maybe the most strange word of all was the word, “Is.”
To say Christ Is Risen implies that it is current and still happening. Christ is still being resurrected. When that feels too awkward we may say, Christ Has Risen but even that tells is he rose and the affects of his resurrection are still presently felt.
But on Easter to be honest there tends to be a lot of pomp and platitudes around the day because we know or we’ve been taught that this day is about Jesus so we must at least be happy – put a smile on for Jesus or at least for the kids.
Easter is the height of our faith, the pinnacle of the church calendar and yet at the same time this Easter, this day, is the same as the rest. Easter is the day of completion and fulfillment, but there also may be no day that highlights our brokenness and lacking in our homes, our relationships and community more than Easter.
He is risen. Let us say this together today even if we don’t feel it – in fact let us say it today especially if we don’t feel it because He is Risen is not only our statement of reality but our confession of faith. It is what we must say because we need to hear it and hopefully in saying and hearing it we will slowly begin to believe it.
Risen Lord, we celebrate your resurrection and our hope of resurrection. Today is hope and for many it is hope dimly lit. “He is risen” – help us wrap these words around our hardened hearts and as the dessert fathers and mothers taught us, when our hearts break and open up may these words fall in.