These were the words of the two angels to the faithful women on the first Easter morning who had come to anoint Jesus’ body. Because the Jewish Sabbath had begun when Jesus’ body was removed from the cross, the women followers of Jesus did not have ample time to prepare His body properly for the permanent entombment.
When the women came to the tomb, to their great amazement, they found the stone rolled away from the tomb and did not find Jesus’ body. It was then the angels asked the question, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Then they announced, “He is not here, he is risen!”
“He is risen!” This sensational news on the first Easter morning conveys the following realities.
“He is risen” tells us that Christ’s resurrection is a dynamic reality in the history of mankind. His resurrection was not a fictional event, not a creation of wishful thinking. The disciples and the early followers of Christ did not look for this to happen. They did not believe it when it was first reported to them. They believed it when each of them experienced it in his own way, when the power of the risen Lord touched their lives. That little band of demoralized and fearful people was completely transformed following the first Easter. Their encounter with the risen Lord had changed their lives thoroughly.
It was the dynamic reality of Christ’s resurrection that gave rise to the Christian church, the writing of the New Testament, the observance of Sunday instead of Saturday as the very special day, the observable evidence of lives changed. It was the power of Christ’s resurrection that changed the lives of millions of people throughout history. It is the spirit and power of the risen Lord that still changes the lives of people today.
Second, “He is risen” tells us that we live in a universe in which God has the last word. Evil men crucified Jesus, but God rose Christ from the dead. The Pilates, Harrods, the Pharisees and the Sadducees of this world can crucify, but they cannot destroy truth, righteousness and love. The resurrection of Christ came to validate the truth that the ultimate purposes of God, moral and spiritual values, cannot be destroyed by evil forces.
And because God has the last word, there is hope for those who are on God’s side, those who are on the side of truth and righteousness. Because God can be trusted in life and death, there is hope for those who are fighting hard battles and are carrying heavy burdens.
During this Lenten season, as we prepare to celebrate Easter, once again we find ourselves in the midst of a world that seems to be overwhelmed with strife, war and misery. For the past few weeks, Russian forces have devastated their neighbor country Ukraine. Many people have been killed. Many children have been orphaned. Many homes, schools, churches and hospitals have been ruined, and many lives have been disrupted. There is a large community of Armenians in the Republic of Ukraine that has also been greatly affected.
In view of this tragedy, as Christians we cannot be indifferent. The Bible calls the followers of Christ ambassadors and keepers of our brothers. Thus, this Easter we are called to demonstrate our love and concern by extending a helping hand to the people of Ukraine. As Christians, we are Easter people and Easter faith tells us that we should keep caring, serving and loving our fellow humans. Kristos haryav Ee merelotz, Orhnyal Eh harootyunen Kristosi