This past week I felt utterly bombarded by bad news. Part of this is because of my own failure to disconnect from electronic media. But part of it is that we just live in a very dark, hostile, and broken world. It’s scary out there. It can be easy to believe that the world is spiraling out of control.
But today is a day to celebrate the day that Jesus rose from the dead! And that day changed everything. It changed everything for the world. It changes everything for us.
I’m reminded of the words of the old hymn “Because He Lives”. The chorus goes like this:
Because he lives
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because I know he holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives
From here we could go on and on:
Because he lives death is not the end.
Because he lives the powers of evil have been disarmed.
Because he lives I know that not only can God break into history, but He has in a decisive way.
Because he lives no matter who has power for now on earth, Jesus sits on the throne of heaven.
Because he lives I know that since, in what looked to be a moment of utter defeat, God gained the ultimate victory, no situation can be too bleak that God cannot show his power.
Because he lives I know Jesus is the righteous judge who brings perfect justice in the end.
Because he lives I have the power to live a life pleasing to God.
Because he lives I am free from the slavery of sin and the fear of death.
Because he lives one day I will live in a resurrected and incorruptible body.
Because he lives I can trust God when he says that there will be a time of “no more crying, no more tears.”
Because he lives I know that God is able to transform all of creation.
Because he lives I know that history, in all its bleakness and decay, will have a happy ending for those who trust in the one who died and rose again.
Because he lives… because in time and space the God-man Jesus who was really dead, really came to life… because this historical reality is attested to by those who, with nothing to gain, gave up their lives to tell what they had seen and heard… because he lives, I know that he really is the Resurrection and the Life and the right now, in him, we experience the power of the resurrection, and that in the future we will experience it again, and then without the devastation of sin and the sorrow of death!
He is risen. He is risen indeed.