Behold the empty tomb where Christ was laid.
He is risen!
He is risen indeed!
He is risen from the dead, and he is Lord!
It’s not enough that Jesus died for our sins. The Apostle Paul says that he was delivered up unto death for our trespasses and raised from death for our justification (Rom. 4:25). He is declared to the world to be the Son of God by his resurrection (Rom. 1:4). The reality of Christ’s resurrection is the assurance of glorified life from the dead to all who are in him (1 Cor. 15:17). This is why the night’s sorrow on Good Friday must pass away to see the renewed joy of the Lord on Easter Morning.
“For those who are in Christ, after death always comes resurrection.”
That’s the refrain that my Extraordinary Pastor kept habituating us to say to ourselves, to carve it into our souls and believe it, especially when death is what God’s providence has in store for us on any given day. Life, especially the Christian life, is marked by an ongoing series of deaths and resurrections. In God’s mysterious economy, death brings forth greater life. And God makes us beneficiaries in Christ’s death and resurrection so he can also make us participants in death and resurrection for ourselves and others.
The resurrection of the Son of God from the dead is what makes all other resurrection possible, because Christ is the firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18) and the firstfruits of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Whereas the Old Covenant was a ministry of death and condemnation, Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant in his blood—one that is a ministry life, righteousness, and glory in the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:4-18).
It was not possible for death to hold the Son of God (Acts 2:24-32). He has been raised up in the power of an indestructible life, and by this, God the Father has qualified the Son to serve as high priest forever according to a priestly order defined by perpetuity and perfection (Heb. 7:15-17). By the Son’s once-for-all sacrifice, he has power to save to the uttermost all who draw near to God through him (Heb. 7:25) and to perfect for all time those who are being sanctified (Heb. 10:14).
The Son of God as high priest lives forever to minister life continually. He always lives to make intercession for his people (Heb. 7:25). The Holy One of God who was put to a cursed death upon the tree of death in his obedience to God has also been raised from the dead with an indestructible life and made the blessed tree of life for his people.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Thanks be to God.
Amen and amen.