“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told.” — Matthew 28:6-7 - New King James Version
He is risen. These immortal words were spoken more than 2,000 years ago by the angel at Jesus’ empty tomb.
Christians around the world celebrate today because of these words. Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, celebrates Christ’s victory over death and mankind’s hope for eternal life.
The joy the women in Matthew 28 experienced on that Resurrection Sunday long ago still is prevalent today.
Every year during the 40-day Lenten season, which begins Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter, many Christians observe an intense period of praying and fasting.
They realize there is a serious reason for the celebration of Easter. They are focused not on egg hunts or baskets of candy, but on the fact that “He is risen,” as stated in Matthew 28.
A week of many worship services culminates today. Holy Week began last Sunday on Palm Sunday and continued as many churches held daily prayer services.
On Thursday evening, some churches celebrated Maundy Thursday services.
On Friday, churches celebrated Good Friday with the seven last sayings of Christ on the cross. Some had services at noon, while others had services late that evening.
The seven last sayings Jesus spoke on the cross include statements such as: “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34); “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43); “Woman, behold thy son … Behold thy mother” (John 19:26-27); “My God my God why hast thou forsaken me” (Mark 15:34); “I thirst” (John 19:28); “It is finished” (John 19:30); and “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
At the time of Jesus’ death on Good Friday, there was darkness, but on Resurrection Sunday, there was light. The good news of His triumph over death still resonates with us today and is the reason why we celebrate.
Early on Easter Sunday morning, many church congregations gather for sunrise services. People who normally are sound asleep at 5:30 or 6 a.m. on Sunday mornings manage to make their way to sunrise services. They are ready to rejoice because He is risen.
On this day, Christians everywhere are thankful because God loves us so much He gave His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross just for us.
Because of Jesus’ love for us, He willingly shed His blood on Calvary’s cross for the remission of our sin.