Easter Sunday is my favorite day of the year, surpassing Christmas, my birthday, and even our wedding anniversary. As important as those days are, the pale in comparison to Easter Sunday. I can often be overcome with a deep sense of grief and gratitude when I reflect on the Good Friday that wasn’t good at all for Jesus or his disciples and followers. I can equally be consumed with overwhelming joy that erupts in jubilant expressions of praise on Resurrection day.
But it’s not the traditional greeting from Luke 24:34 that quickens my spirit and fills my soul with overwhelming joy. It’s another greeting, this one given to women in Matthew 28:6.
He is not here;
he has risen,
just as he said.
He is risen! Just as he said!
The angel’s message carries the weight of all of Christendom on its shoulders. “Just as he said,” bears witness to the fact that Jesus is who he said he is. All of the promises, all of the words ever spoken by the man who claimed to be the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Giver of Life, are wrapped up in the fact that before his lifeless body was placed in a borrowed tomb, he said he would rise again. And it happened just as he said!
So all that is within me joins my brothers and sisters on this incomparable day to echo the triumphant message through the empty tomb, and out into every sanctuary in every country of the world where believers worship freely. Even in those countries where following Jesus means a death sentence, the whisper crescendos from the underground and secret places until all the earth swells with the glorious sound of believers’ passionate affirmation that he is risen! He is risen indeed!
Just as he said!
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