He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
The declaration of the early church comes from a verse in Matthew’s gospel. The verse begins, “He is not here”. His time on earth, His unique purpose as fully man was finished. As is noted in other passages of Scripture:
1 Tim 1:15 – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – Check
Mark 10:45 – “…the Son of Man” came “to give his life as a ransom for many” – Check
His work was finished He declared from the cross, but the crucifixion was not the end of His ministry. In fact, to borrow from Winston Churchill, it was not even the beginning of the end, but perhaps it was the end of the beginning.
God sent His son into the world to save sinners and die in place of sinful men and women. In Jesus’ day, the world had become darkened because people had turned away from the one true God and served false gods; idols, money, fame, and power (I know it is hard to imagine a world like that). And so, Jesus also came as a:
Light in the darkness (John 1:5, 12:46)
Witness to Truth (John 18:37)
Herald of the Gospel (Luke 4:18-19)
And He told those who followed Him, they were ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in the world. Following His resurrection, His last declaration and order to those who followed Him was…
“all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)
And so, despite knowing that Jesus “is not here”, the early church understood their charge, and greeted one another with “He is risen” knowing that, while He reigns in Heaven, He also lives in them. Thus, the resurrection was not the end of Jesus’ ministry, but indeed only the end of the beginning.
The Apostle Paul describes this understanding in writing to the Corinthian church:
“…this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
So, here are some thoughts on how we, as COS, as ambassadors might celebrate His resurrection:
- We could weep a little more for those that are lost, rather than complain, criticize, or even belittle them (guilty here). Jesus, as he entered Jerusalem to be crucified, knowing that the people He came to save would do this, He wept for them- “if you had only known on this day what would bring you peace”.
- We could pray a little more for those in darkness. Jesus taught about a widow who sought justice from an unjust judge by nagging him into submission. His message was that this woman exhibited a kind of faith by not giving up, and then he asked his followers, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”.
- We could seek every opportunity to share with others the hope (in a world where hope seems to be dying) that is within us- in season and out.
My prayer is that we, COS brothers and sisters, will be found faithful to the ministry He has entrusted to us. HE IS RISEN!
Do you have something you would like to share with our membership to spiritually edify and encourage living out our faith in practice? Email Bryan@cosw.org and let us know!