“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Do not be afraid: for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified; He is not here. He is risen, as he said.” (Matthew 28:5-6)
“He is risen!” This testimony given by the angel of the Lord to the women at the tomb of Jesus was the basis of the world’s first post-resurrection preaching. “Go,” he tells them, “and declare to his disciples that he has risen from the dead…” The first preachers to openly proclaim the Lord’s victory over death incidentally, were women. But that is a point for another time. For now, lets return to the subject of Resurrection itself.
While there is much debate – even within the church – about the exact origin and nature of the holiday we now call Easter, what we do not hold in controversy or speculation is the Resurrection of our Lord. As Paul famously wrote:
“If Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain,
and your faith is also vain.” (1 Cor 15:14)
The Resurrection then should not be a matter of controversy for those of us who purport to follow Jesus, nor are we to speculate about its historicity, or attempt to explain it away as if it were some archaic myth or story. Rather, it is to be a lived reality for us in our present lives, a very real part of our human experience, and the basis for our daily living. For we who call upon Christ are now made his body by the indwelling of his Spirit. That means that the same power which raised Jesus from the dead is now active in us (c.f. Romans 8:11).
That Christ is risen and now acting within us, and through us, is the historical faith of the church. Let us hold fast to that which we have received, and let us not forget that the great riches of the mystery preached by the earliest disciples was simply this: CHRIST IN US, THE HOPE OF GLORY (c.f. Col 1:27). We are, because HE IS!!!