Christ is risen!”…“He is risen indeed!” For thousands of years the Christian church has used this phrase as a customary greeting of joy at Easter and throughout the Easter season. Instead of “hello” or “good morning,” a person greets another with “Christ is risen!” and the appropriate response is “He is risen indeed!”
This is our hope. As we face local layoffs in the education system, as we wrestle with cancer in the life of someone we care about, as we wonder if our child’s life will be forever marked by a messed up decision, as we struggle through our days as a single parent, as we wish, or wait, or pray, this is our hope.
The Easter story, the Easter reality can breathe life into the human spirit. He is risen indeed. Maybe at this moment you find yourself living in a season you never saw coming. You regret a decision you made, an action you took, an opportunity you let pass. Nobody ever wants a season of hard times to come, but when they do, they have a way of helping us discover the source of our hope, and our help.
What is your hope? What are you counting on for help?
I love John Ortberg’s words a few Easters past,
People have not gathered for the past 2,000 years to say, “The stock market has risen. It has risen indeed.” They have not gathered to say, “The dollar has risen. It has risen indeed.” Or, “the employment rate has risen.” Or, “the gross domestic product has risen.” Or, “General Motors has risen.” Or, “The value of your 401(k) has risen.” Here’s the one hope that has held up human beings across every continent and culture for two millennia of difficult times of poverty, disease, pain, hardship, death itself: “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.”
I love Easter. As a pastor, we live for Easter. Every other Sunday is practice for Easter. We come out of the betrayal of Thursday night, the gloom and despair of Friday, through the doubts of Saturday into the hope of Easter Sunday. This weekend we will sing resurrection songs. We will celebrate the resurrection of Christ and we will listen to His call… to come out of our tombs.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.