Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

Empty tomb

Mark 16

1: And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2: And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3: And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” 4: And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; — it was very large. 5: And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6: And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. 7: But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.”

Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Pascha, also called Easter, is the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord.

The Paschal greeting has been a custom among Orthodox Christians for centuries. One is to greet another with “Christ is Risen!” The response is “Truly, He is risen!” (or “Indeed, He is risen!”). This greeting is used during liturgical services and informally at other times, starting with the feast of Pascha and lasting until Ascension. 

I’m not Orthodox, but I join in this tradition today. Why? Because the Resurrection is the foundation to our Christian faith. Without it, Christ’s death is meaningless.

I Corinthians 15

12: But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14: And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15: More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16: For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17: And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18: Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19: If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (emphasis mine)

I’m grateful for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and I am thankful for his resurrection. I am dead to sin because he died, and I am raised to newness of life because he rose from the grave.

Romans 6

4: For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (New Living Translation)

There’s a great song from the ’80s by Don Francisco (He’s Alive!) that tells the story of the Resurrection from Peter’s point of view. I found a great video to go with it. Enjoy!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!